REVIEW: Fat White Family, Serfs Up!
Fat White Family
Three albums in, we find South London’s favourite grotbags Fat White Family leaving the capital, and the heroin scene that had consumed some of them, and relocating to Sheffield.
The result is a record that acts as a deep cleanse in more ways than one. Not only are the band in better shape, but they’ve taken the opportunity to explore a more pop-kissed, melodic and harmonious album in the process.
The opening Feet is all Grace Jones groggy disco groove combined with 1980s Leonard Cohen strut. This sets the tone for a record that explores grubby pop, wonky disco and a sprinkling of lounge funk. The album title’s nod to The Beach Boys can also be heard in the harmony-rich arrangements of Vagina Dentata and the beautiful Oh Sebastian.
Fridge Runner bounces with a swagger driven by infectious basslines, while the dramatic bursts of keys recall a disco being set on fire, the latter statement arguably capturing the entire essence of the record.
It’s an adventurous yet successful evolution from the group, who have realised the limits of presenting yourself as a fuzz-coated outfit on the verge of collapse. But this doesn’t so much feel like a taming of the beast as much as it does the band expressing further something that has always lurked deep within the shambolic spirit: a sincerely talented bunch of songwriters.
Daniel Dylan Wray