Essential New Music: White Lung’s “Paradise”

WhiteLung

With bands, as with significant others, it’s nice to know you’re on the same page about the L-word. Mish Way drops a couple clues early on with “Kiss Me When I Bleed,” the battle-cry first single from White Lung’s new record. “Love is a beast now/It rots my teeth now,” she declares in a Reznorian snarl to match that proto-emo title.

But the sweetest sentiment comes a minute later: “They say I split my pride in two when I became a bride for you, but what do they know?” It’s equal parts fierce and lovely, as is most of Paradise, the Vancouver band’s fourth LP in six years. These songs are raw and muscular (think early Superchunk or an upbeat L7), with “Dead Weight,” “Hungry” and “Narcoleptic” standing out for their sheer displays of punk muscularity. Leading the way, of course, is Way’s voice: aggressive, passionate and always agitated.

—Patrick Rapa