Fat White Family: Songs For Our Mothers

Brixton’s grossest band zone out on second album.

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We expected Fat White Family, South London’s depraved psych-country filthmongers, to fall apart, but we assumed it’d be over methadone overdoses and public indecency arrests.

Instead, members are dropping like flies for their inability to cope with FWF’s shift from flinging pigs’ heads around Brixton basements to becoming an international touring concern and hanging out with Sean Lennon.

The more unreliable and sociopathic members appear to have taken the mania with them. This second album ditches much of the Birthday Party post-punk violence of their 2013 debut Champagne Holocaust to focus on the zoned-out drone chants they use to contact ancient Rome.

On first listen it’s a dour, dirgey, sacrifice-friendly record, the Velvet Underground 10 minutes after ‘The Man’ showed up. But slowly it slips its gore-ingrained fingers around your throat with its befouling melodies, grave-robbing atmospherics and topics Frankie Boyle wouldn’t touch.

When Shipman Decides is a surreal deadzone oompah, Goodbye Goebbels a Nazi-fixated Creep, Lebensraum a cranky cowboy ballad sung entirely in German. There’s even a deep-buried pop spark to Hits Hits Hits and Tinfoil Deathstar – narcotic, minimalist, industrial disco tunes, like the brain stems of the Pet Shop Boys kept alive in a vat of funky slime by zombie scientists. Creepy and disturbing, but it’ll still make their mothers proud.

Mark Beaumont

Mark Beaumont is a music journalist with almost three decades' experience writing for publications including Classic Rock, NME, The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, The Times, Uncut and Melody Maker. He has written major biographies on Muse, Jay-Z, The Killers, Kanye West and Bon Iver and his debut novel [6666666666] is available on Kindle (opens in new tab).