I Hate/Love This Band

Fat White Family suffers from so many self-inflicted flaws they deserve to fail, and disappear.

Their name sucks, their sound is erratic, sloppy and self-consciously assholish.

Reveling in degradation, glorifying deadly ideologies, stinking of puke and cocaine – they’re a walking, shitty cliche waiting to be forgotten. Quickly. And they’re British, which elevates the snotty level to 11.

Then how come they’re so good?  How come I love them?

Champagne Holocaust (their latest record) is not in the same realm as the beautiful first full-length Cramps album (Songs the Lord Taught Us), but it’s the only recent disc to come close to the controlled but historically grounded recklessness of Lux Interior. I listen to this record, and I think – they would have opened for the Cramps, and the Cramps would have been nervous. And, this band could have existed in the 1950’s, if they just cleaned up their lyrics, and laid off the powder.

Trying to decipher the charm of anything weird is fruitless, for it’s the weirdness that is the charm – the resistance to being solved is why it works.  I have no idea where this band is headed, but they’re talented, they can play as great most traditional rock bands, they perform like hated transients. They’re as good as any decrepit band out there, and they don’t pretend otherwise.


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