The Fat White Family Vinyl, CD & tapes by The Fat White Family at Norman Records
South London’s Fat White Family split opinion. The band’s agitprop posturing, caustic post-punk style and penchant for taking all their clothes off on stage are a turn-off for some, a draw for others. To be honest this is probably exactly the way that the Fat Whites want it - while they have grown into one of the UK’s biggest underground rock groups throughout the 2010s, track titles like ‘Bomb Disneyland’ and ‘Is It Raining In Your Mouth?’ (figure it out…) don’t exactly signpost a band who are overly-concerned with mass appeal.
If you’re a convert, you’ll most likely be all-in for the cause. At their best Fat Whites records are thrilling and vital, a distillation of the raucous live shows on which their reputation has been forged. Both of the aforementioned tracks appeared on their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’ (2013), a no-budget garage-punk masterpiece which brewed up a mix of The Gun Club, The Birthday Party, Country Teasers and The Fall.
The slow-burn success of this LP steadily upped the ante for the band’s next record. 2016’s ‘Songs For Our Mothers’ was a peculiar album, one that simultaneously sharpened the band’s pop sensibility - see the fabulous Kraut-disco single ‘Whitest Boy On The Beach’ - and also featured some Throbbing Gristle-esque turns that included some (possibly too) knowing lyrics. While not their most consistent LP, the progress they made on ‘Songs For Our Mothers’ wasn’t in vain, with the industrial and Motorik influences streamlined on 2019’s ‘Serfs Up!’.
Given that they’re a big band - their lineup regularly numbers half a dozen or more - it’s unsurprising that there are also a few notable Fat White side-projects. Band leaders Saul Adamczewski and Lias Saoudi partner with The Eccentronic Research Council in The Moonlandingz, while Adamczewski also does stuff in Insecure Men. Warmduscher are another notable group in the Fat White Family’s extended universe.