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Fat White Family - Serfs Up - lp coloured -

Price per Unit (stuk): €26.95

A band always seemingly more interested in notoriety than grand musical statements, Fat White Family’s creative core appeared to have split in two after 2016’s controversy-craving (Goebbels! Shipman! Auschwitz!) but underwhelming Songs for Our Mothers, with guitarist Saul Adamczewski forming Insecure Men and frontman Lias Saoudi reappearing in Moonlandingz. So Serfs Up!represents a double surprise: first that it exists at all and second that it’s unrecognisably good.

Whereas their past excursions into lo-fi art-rock were all too in thrall to Throbbing Gristle, there’s a hitherto unheard melodic nous to the likes of recent single Feet and I Believe in Something Better, the former a skyscraping epic meticulously and irresistibly built up layer by layer, the latter redolent of early-80s Sheffield synthpop. Elsewhere, they boldly meld genres: Fringe Runner is White Lines engulfed in drones; Tastes Good With the Money segues from Gregorian chanting to T Rex glam-boogie, complete with Baxter Dury matter-of-factly warning of “a mushroom cloud for the middle classes”. Not everything comes off, however. Kim’s Sunsets, despite its provocative angle – empathy for Kim Jong-un, having all that firepower but doomed to never get to use it – fails to transcend its anaesthetised reggae backing. That aside, Serfs Up! feels like a giant leap forward.

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