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Fat White Family

Neither fat nor a family, these trailer-trash “Whitest Boys On The Beach” from Peckham, London (or a squat in Brixton), have stirred up a hornet’s nest of conflict since arriving on the scene in early 2013. Ticking all the boxes under sleaze, nudity and nihilistic depravity, the warts n’ all sextet/quintet discovered an anal retentive land where only fans of psychedelia, no wave and zombies need apply for a passport.
Formed in 2011 by singer/guitarist Saul Adamczweski (formerly of major-label act The METROS), singer Lias Saoudi and his brother Nathan (on organ), the trio were almost immediately joined by guitarist Adam J. Harmer, bassist Joseph Panucci and drummer Martin Dead (or even Dan Lyons). Musically akin to The BIRTHDAY PARTY, SWANS or The FALL (indeed, they run off a track entitled `I Am Mark E. Smith’), their inspiration is two-thirds Charles Manson and one-third SERGE GAINSBOURG; The FAT WHITE FAMILY challenged the boundaries of sexual desire and debauchery in debut download, `Cream Of The Young’, which speaks of “15-year-old tongue…”.
One of several tasteless tracks on the band’s inaugural long-player, CHAMPAGNE HOLOCAUST (2013) {*8}, they played the parody card a bit too close to the chest, but then again, would one have heard the preposterous `Is It Raining In Your Mouth?’ (aired on TV’s David Letterman Show after they signed to Fat Possum US) and `Who Shot Lee Oswald?’ (that offers up the questions: “Was it the FBI?, Was it the CIA?, Was it the BBC?, Was it The Velvet Underground? Was it Bobby Davro?”).
If Mark E. Smith could sue the FWF for simply sounding the part of The FALL, then it’d be through `Wild American Prairie’, `Heaven On Earth’, `Bomb Disneyland’ and `Special Ape!’, but it’s in the funereal-paced `Garden Of The Numb’ or the krautrock earworm `Auto Neutron’, that cut deep into the skull.
As the shock value subsided, there were 1-3 parts of `Wet Hot Beef’ to contend with on a shared EP with Taman Shud, while a move from Trashmouth Records to the independent Hate Hate Hate Records, gleaned the FAD GADGET-esque `Touch The Leather’, complete with a near-tongue-in-bum-cheek S&M video. The fact they’d since thrown a pig’s head at a vegan fan, masturbated on stage and smeared themselves with faeces, their notoriety took punks back to the days of GG ALLIN, The BUTTHOLE SURFERS and dare one say it, IGGY POP.
These commune warriors of the underclass were gearing up for another grimly-fiendish horror- show by early 2016, when a SUICIDE-ish 7-inch single of `Whitest Boy On The Beach’, previewed their “parent” Top 75 sophomore set, SONGS OF OUR MOTHERS {*8}. Pictured with only five members this time around, their psychological, mind-tampering was slowed apace in `Love Is The Crack’, `Duce’ (very SWANS), `Hits Hits Hits’ (a hit! if released by DJANGO DJANGO?), `Goodbye Goebbels’ and the funereal 7-minutes of dead-man’s dirge `We Must Learn To Rise’ – a contender for track of the year. Gurgling like a “Frog Chorus” sinking slowly with a Yellow Submarine, the tasteless ditty `When Shipman Decides’ would bring obvious shock and awe from the moral majority, which, in turn, should lead to column inches and world domination for The FAT WHITE FAMILY by album three – and pigs might fly… above the heads of vegans!
Impatient for the relocated Sheffield-based FWF to kick back into first gear, Saul almost immediately moonlighted alongside Ben Romans-Hopcraft in INSECURE MEN. One eponymous set was released in 2018 for Fat Possum, while a quick-fire follow-up, the covers album “Karaoke For One Vol.1” was down to just a solo Saul.
With no BEACH BOYS hue on the horizon, the mischievous FAT WHITE FAMILY served up SERFS UP! (2019) {*7}; Domino Records endorsing the cult brood in their quirky quest to produce misanthropic glam-fi indie pop. World politics was of course on the menu (the provocative `Kim’s Sunsets’ concerning a certain North Korean despot), whilst American bomber Ted Kaczinski was the subject in the THROBBING GRISTLE-ish `I Believe In Something Better’. And who better to stir up the melting pot of the as-yet-unsettled Brexit than FWF, who could be forgiven for the disco-fied, `Feet’, when `Vagina Dentata’ was waiting in the wings.
© MC Strong/MCS Feb2016-Jun2019

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