Drug-addled miscreants Fat White Family describe ‘Songs for Our Mothers’ as “an invitation, sent by misery, to dance to the beat of human hatred”. Cheery lyrics prevail throughout as Lias tears through drug addiction, Dr Harold Shipman and Hitler’s final hours beneath an impenetrable, hazy wall of psychedelia. A writhing anti-statement against the pristine, label-manufactured drivel such as Bastille, now spoon-fed to us as ‘the alternative’.
‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’ is draped in synth, and is the bands most danceable song to date, and a dead-ringer for Iggy Pop’s ‘Nightclubbing’. Saul Adamczewski’s guitar hacks at the barrage of noise as Lias Saudi’s lucid vocals entrance the listener into a hypnotic state of paralysis. The sultry bass riff of ‘Satisied’ lurches alongside an electric drumbeat and twangy guitar, faux-angelic harmonies litter the end of the song as Lias returns to the squalid gutter of society from which the band were spawned. A lumbered drumbeat pounds the street as dissonant guitars skulk in the back alleys of ‘Love is the Crack’, a deeply unsettling ode to drug addiction complete with singalong chorus.
Some sacrilegious gospel church is birthed from Fat White Family’s depthless pools of hate on ‘Duce’, as dense instrumentation engulfs the eardrums and some jarring effect screams like a perverse animal locked in Lias’ mind. Lias displays his finest German in ‘Lebensraum’, a tired, country ballad chronicling fascism as Fat White Family succeed in their narcissistic pursuit of the musical extremes of taste. An electric lo-fi drumbeat fuses with the airy vocals of ‘Hits Hits Hits’, perhaps the most accessible song on the album, highlighting Fat White Family’s commitment to making your skin crawl, considering the track details domestic abuse inflicted upon Tina Turner by former husband Ike. ‘Tinfoil Deathstar’ is a psychedelic, narcotic blowout, Saul’s guitar pierces like shrapnel throughout.
The atrocities of Dr Harold Shipman are professed in ‘When Shipman Decides’, despite its dark premise it manages to be one of the lighter sounding cuts on the LP. The comic horns and child-like vocal effects take the seriousness of the song away, making it all the more nauseating as the guitar drunkenly teeters from side to side. An impending sense of dread seeps into the subconscious on the dragging and droning ‘We Must Learn to Rise’. A satanic ritual of a song with crashing symbols supporting Saul’s guitar squealing in discomfort as Lias leads a dark cult uprising of “We must learn to rise”. The only logical way Fat White Family see fit to end ‘Songs For Our Mothers’ is with a lo-fi ballad describing Hitler’s final moments prior to his suicide. ‘Goodbye Goebbels’ sees a brushed acoustic guitar a sparse compliment to the harsh vocals, reminiscent of ‘Garden of the Numb’ from their debut.
‘Songs For Our Mothers’ is a slight change on the messy anarchism of ‘Champagne Holocaust’, with an increased impetus on electronic instrumentation and a focus on psychedelic jam-style songs. There are less standout songs, yet as a cohesive album it flows well. The lyrics are swallowed by the instrumentation, which does detract from many of the songs as part of Fat White Family’s genius is the obscure savagery of their lyrics. Fat White Family’s sociopathic debauchery is still toe-curling abundant, a dank light of hope in an increasingly stale era of alternative music.