White Lung’s new album, Paradise, wastes no time in grabbing its listener by the collar and tossing them down a rabbit hole of sound. Starting with a brief free-fall that turns into a spiraling plunge, the song “Dead Weight” lets listeners know right away that a musical gem has been discovered as it drags them into a sonic wonderland, beyond the looking glass of standard Alternative Indie Rock music.
Paradise is remarkable in its ability to never lose momentum even once in its breathless 28 minute lifespan. There’s hardly a moment that let’s up the gut punch driving guitars, thudding racing heartbeat-like drumlines, and echoing atmosphere. Even the quieter moments, like the track “Hungry” still maintain a sense of delightful punk urgency. Paradise might not be as much of a straightforward punch to the face as something like 2014’s Deep Fantasy, but it still proves itself as the wake up call your ears desperately needed. The snarling, sneering vocals of Mish Way on songs like “Sister” create a winking image of a strange Cheshire Cat face grinning at you from the dark, inviting you deeper into the madness.
The music isn’t the only part of White Lung that is firing on all cylinders. The lyrics are tight, straight forward, fascinating, and create a fantastic image in the listener’s head. A defining moment is the bloody grin of a chorus in the song “Kiss Me When I Bleed.” Lines like “I will give birth in a trailer, huffing the gas in the air” wriggle their way under your skin and nestle somewhere in your subconscious, making it their permanent home.
In less than thirty minutes, White Lung takes its listeners on a breakneck journey through the strangest of any musical wonderland that has been introduced to us throughout 2016 so far. The closing song invites listeners to continue on this dangerous but undeniably fun ride, as Way cries for us to “bow out with me, ride south with me.” If the trip continues to be anywhere near as thought provoking and fun as this latest album, I certainly will do so, without a moment’s hesitation.