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    Fat White Family – "Forgiveness Is Yours"

    Top-Drawer Post-Punk

    Preview von Anne
    29.03.2024 — Lesezeit: 7 min
    Deutsche Version lesen
    Fat White Family – "Forgiveness Is Yours"
    Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason

    Fat White Family have announced their fourth album for April 26th! I've already listened to "Forgiveness Is Yours" and am thrilled by the complexity, creativity and distinct personality of this outstanding record. Make sure you save the date and listen to the pre-released singles "Bullet Of Dignity", "Religion For One", "Today Become Man", and "What's That You Say". I'll tell you everything else in this article.

    The London post-punk band got cult status quite quickly and not without a reason. Fat White Family are bringing momentum to the music scene with their songs. With their eleven new pieces, they are gaining even more speed. They appear with a bang, dissolving into a diffuse web of soundscapes, sound, lyrics and percussion to propel us into a new age with momentum.

    Swirly and crass, disturbing and familiar at the same time—that's how "Forgiveness Is Yours" sounds. The fascination of exploring even the tiniest details in the pieces doesn't stop until the last note. I'd even say it's quite the opposite: As soon as the record player has touched the last groove, you instantly feel the urge to push the needle back to its origin.

    "Forgiveness Is Yours" feels like a new beginning

    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason
    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason

    It's been over a decade since Fat White Family caused a stir with their first record. With their songs and eccentric mix of skillfully played instruments, they have always stood out from the crowd of releases and soon earned themselves a place on the Olympus of the most popular post-punk bands. Singer Lias Saoudi and deeply missed Saul Adamczewski, who sadly passed, confidently led the band and captivated fans from a wide variety of genres.

    2024 continues in a more twisted and fascinating way than ever before with FWF. Those who will soon be able to experience this album live at one or a few of their shows can look forward to a mind-expanding event in a class of its own. Fat White Family have already disclosed their tour dates—you can find them below.

    With their debut album "Champagne Holocaust", released in 2013, the band broke down barriers and took post-punk to a new direction with their dreamy, dark, and fidgety lo-fi sound. In 2016, they released "Song For Our Mothers", a provocative, juicy and incredible album that turned even the last curious listeners into convinced fans. Songs like "Whitest Boy on the Beach", "Tinfoil Deathstar", "Hits Hits Hits", "Touch The Leather", and "I Am Mark E. Smith" will stay in our heads forever and are already influencing numerous upcoming new bands.

    Radical developments as a recipe for success

    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason
    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason

    In 2019, they went another step up the ladder with their third album, "Serfs Up!" and were finally mentioned by every known music magazine on the planet. The band themselves say that they've found themselves with this record—mainly due to the radical developments that took place at that time. Fat White Family completely redeveloped their sound back then. Songs like "Feet", "Rock Fishes", "Oh Sebastian", and "Tastes Good with the Money" are probably the ones we all remember most.

    Lias Saoudi says that the new FWF album "Forgiveness Is Yours" is about what happens when you run out of road:

    "It's the music you make when you're at the end of the line, your tether, the world."

    A well-placed rant about what has happened in the UK and elsewhere in recent years mixed with the reconditioning of personal traumas—that's what "Forgiveness Is Yours" sounds and feels like. One example is the track "Work":

    "The lights are low, the metre's run dry, your mother's with another man

    And when they tell you to go softly, check this knife that's in my hand"

    Lias' anger at constantly having to overcome crises comes out very clearly:

    "If you leave hell behind, build it elsewhere instead If you want to escape from horror, bury yourself therein"

    Farewell to Saul Adamczewski

    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason
    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason

    Lias' feelings about the multiple crises of our time are almost palpable in the Synth Wave song.

    He has another statement about the making of the record:

    "Nonetheless, the new album's creation has left serious psychic scarring. 'My only ambition for its release is that I earn enough money from touring it to pay for the years of high-end psychotherapy I'll need in order to move on."

    It's easy to imagine what the band founder means by that. Overall, there were some bumpy sections on the way to the finished record. The death of founding member Saul Adamczewski during the recording process can certainly be described as the band's darkest phase.

    Therefore, the album is also a farewell. However, you can't immediately hear the pain and despair during its creation. It's a combination of references to beloved literary masterpieces, a sharp-tongued determination to confront the failure of the system with never-ending anger, and the honest handiwork of the exceptional multi-instrumental talents.

    Lias' love for great writers immediately appears in the record's opener. The first song, "The Archivist," begins with a spoken word performance about failure and accepting one's mistakes. The second song, "John Lennon", is an intoned short story in which the singer meets Yoko Ono while intoxicated with ketamine and eventually becomes possessed by the spirit of the late John Lennon.

    The third track, "Bullet of Dignity", holds the album together and provides a spectacular interlude which, as Lias has already announced, will be a crucial part of the Fat White Family's upcoming live shows. "Polygamy Is Only for the Chief" is reminiscent of the previous album and provides organised chaos in its purest form. Listen to the guitar parts here, I especially love them. The vocals are also breathtaking.

    Fat White Family - "Bullet of Dignity"

    Overall, the record is a loudly conceived alternative to the polished and whipped-up high-pitched uniformity we are constantly presented with today. Insistant, resolute and stirring, Fat White Family have defied all algorithms and reinvented themselves in the process.

    Processing catastrophes, quarrels, and nightmares ("Visions of Pain") and turning them into music is not an entirely new idea. FWF have done a pretty good job of it and in the end managed to skilfully tie all the loose ends together and make a big whole.

    "Today You Become Man" is the sixth track on "Forgiveness Is Yours"—it's also one of the pre-releases. You can already watch the video and stream the song on all platforms.

    The piece is about Lias' older brother Tam and his circumcision, which he experienced at the age of five without anaesthetic in the Algerian mountains. Tam himself recorded the video for the song on location in Maillot.

    Fat White Family - "Today You Become Man"

    Song number seven, "Religion for One", tells of pain, misunderstandings and personal sacrifices. Here, too, Lias has dealt with personal conflicts.

    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason
    Fat White Family. Bild/Picture: © Louise Mason

    "You are what you sacrifice Amalgam of pain Should your misplaced foresight Lead you to my door again Roll out them shekels babe spit out that gum My conscience dissipating You're vanity's firstborn runt Just a cat drinking its own reflection You're not the picture not even the frame Just a dog drinking up my reflection You're fishing for pain Your fear of failure and ambition the same thing You will never get a table at the Dorcia within Finish off this pedicure Re-direct the blame Your armour protecting nothing Your sympathy's driest month Just a bi-product of my resentment You're not the picture not even the frame Just a dog drinking up my reflection You're squandering pain Religion for one"

    The piece connects fluently with its predecessor, but is unexpectedly sustained and fragile in its playing style. Musically, it reminds me of classic film music from the 1970s, and I can also sense some influences, such as Nick Cave.

    Fat White Family – "Religion for One"

    The record continues with "Feed The Horse", a speedy piece of music with nice pulp and Siouxsie hints. The lyrics tell the story of a dystopian world that no longer seems so far away.

    "What's That You Say" hits the spot again. The song uses great wordplay and sounds like the future humankind probably imagined in the 1980s—fluffy, velvety, sarcastic, with a pinch of synth. This track has also been pre-released, and you can already enjoy it.

    Fat White Family – "What's That You Say"

    The tenth track "Work" is about the insanity of work life and its rules. Is there really a sense in everything being about showing up at the right time and memorising all the appropriate answers to make everyone happy? Incidentally, the piece is very danceable and driving and delights with Lia's breathy vocals.

    The final song on "Forgiveness Is Yours" begins playfully. A pan through the orchestra pit. The strings are still tuning their instruments. Certainly, the piano sets in, and tension rises. "You Can't Force It" is a sarcastic operetta-style lullaby—a great way to end a fantastic album.

    Alongside their work on "Forgiveness Is Yours", the Fat White Family members have also been working on their various solo and side projects in a wide variety of fields. For example, they supported Liam Gallagher at his biggest solo show in Knebworth and short the short film "Moonbathing". Lias, who in the meantime practised as a prose writer, wrote a column and collaborated with author Adelle Stripe on the book "Ten-Thousand Apologies: Fat White Family and the Miracle of Failure".

    Their creativity continues to flow unabated and gives us hope for many more albums, concerts and post-punk revolutions to come. Until FWF create the next big bang, let's listen to this album as often as possible. It's a real milestone and will surely stay with us forever.

    2024 Tourdates Fat White Family

    Thursday April 25th – Rough Trade East, London (instore)
    Friday April 26th – Resident Music, Brighton (instore)
    Sunday April 28th – Rough Trade, Nottingham (instore)
    Tuesday April 30th – Bear Tree Recoprds, Sheffield (instore)
    Wednesday May 1st – Vinyl Tap, Huddersfield (instore)
    Thursday May 2nd – Assai Records, Edinburgh (instore)

    Saturday May 25th – Levitation Festival, Angers, France
    Monday May 27th – La Cigale, Paris, France
    Tuesday May 28th – Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam, Netherlands
    Wednesday 29th May – Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Friday May 31st – Lido, Berlin, Germany
    Saturday June 1st – Trix, Antwerp, Belgium
    Saturday June 8th – SWX, Bristol, UK
    Sunday June 9th – Engine Rooms, Southampton, UK
    Monday June 10th – Tramshed, Cardiff, UK
    Wednesday June 12th – Hangar 34, Liverpool, UK
    Thursday June 13th – New Century, Manchester, UK
    Friday June 14th – Garage, Glasgow, UK
    Sunday June 16th – Boiler Shop, Newcastle, UK
    Tuesday June 18th – Project House, Leeds, UK
    Wednesday June 19th – Troxy, London, UK

    Get your tickets for the Fat White Family tour here!

    © 2024 · · Anne Reis