Artists Of The Year CMU Approved

CMU Artists Of The Year 2013: Fat White Family

By | Published on Monday 9 December 2013

Fat White Family

Each weekday in the run up to the Christmas break, we will reveal another of our ten favourite artists of the year. To see each artist as they’re revealed, sign up to receive the CMU Daily or check this page. We kick off with Fat White Family…

The debut album from late-in-the-day CMU approvees Fat White Family album is a dark and strange one, full of horrors, offal, and stories about riding donkeys into pubs. In short, you probably wouldn’t want any of it on your mum’s mantelpiece.

Having grouped from the offcuts of rut-stuck south London indie ‘urchins’ The Saudis and The Metros – oh, I don’t know how long ago – and moved into a pub in Brixton (the publicity around FWF oft confuses ‘moving in’ with ‘squatting’), the band have slowly drawn fans, some by some, to their cause, and that of their first LP ‘Champagne Holocaust’.

But what is Fat White Family’s cause? Um, stolid communism, just to start, and for second course, a louche, world-sore disliking for “yuppies”, “The Man”, and, most famously, Mrs Thatcher, whose passing put the band ‘on the map’ as, quite literally, the poster boys for Brixton’s unashamedly bad-taste “death party”.

Sticking the group’s blunt (if doubtful, in spots, though it’s also doubtful how much of it is serious) politics in the corner for a second, and honing in solely on the music; it’s worth considering that from all the doom of the gloomy post-indie hole in which they must’ve once found themselves, Fat White Family have somehow pulled out one of the most bold, genuine, and genuinely ‘other’ debuts of 2013.

Take the two outstanding tracks of ‘Champagne Holocaust’ – ‘Auto Neutron’ and ‘Cream Of The Young’ – which sound like (and thus, I suppose, are) dank, diabolical slips of rock n roll dissolution, all vile, bile-like riffs, and nasty talk of “fifteen year old tongues”. Yucky as those songs are, or purport to be, they’re also spoofing (so FWF’s Saul has said to The Quietus) “the ridiculousness of the WHOLE rock n roll thing”. Which, in the reign of the horrible, horrible likes of The 1975, is something someone absolutely has to do, for God and good music’s sake.

I don’t know what Fat White Family are up to, if I’m honest, and the real joy with them is: I’m not sure they do either. I mean, look at them, not caring one single damn if they’re bare-naked, or toothless, or if a glorious and truly yucky ten-minute song titled ‘Wet Hot Beef’ is anyone’s idea of a ‘saleable’ single. And whilst I’m happy to concede that they possibly do know a little bit what they are doing, as long as they continue on as strongly and autonomously as they’ve begun – Fat White Family can do and say as they please.

Meet ‘Auto Neutron’: