Songs For Our Mothers by Fat White Family

A mere glance at the song titles on the album addresses the mood and tone in which Fat White Family thrive on. ‘When Shipman Decides’ and ‘Goodbye Goebbels’, which is sang from the role of Hitler, are particularly provocative titles that encapsulate the five-piece’s motivation for angst. Songs For Our Mothers is the second album released by the south-London quintet, and Fat White Family’s distain for contemporary culture is prominent throughout the album.

The album opens with the single ‘Whitest Boy on the Beach’ and the distinct inconsistency and lack of coordination is apparent. Accompanied by a dreary, almost inaudible voice, the opening track is without doubt the highlight of the album. The grimness of ‘Satisfied’ is particularly effective at harnessing dark, shrieking guitar while the hypotonic rhythm and enchanting vocals of ‘When Shipman Decides’ instil an eerie presence. The distorted nature of Fat White Family is what helped them grow in popularity through their chaotic live performances and their condemning electronica, which remains in their second album, particularly in ‘Tinfoil Deathstar’, which consults drug addiction via heavy distortion. Yet following the screeching opener it becomes difficult to differentiate one track from another. Instead you are taken on a sombre path with an eerily, carnivalesque atmosphere as the Fat White Family screech and grunt about their discontent with the apparent fascist culture we are stuck in.

The lo-fi style that Fat White Family represents provokes an unenthused response to their disjointed, miserable world that is significant in their lyrics and sound. Songs For Our Mothers blends distorted guitars, primitive drumming and bleak electronica to form an amalgamation of desolation and darkness. Despite lacking stand out tracks, the uninviting tone is infectious and dominant leading to an album seeping with distain.


Nathan Dale

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