White Fang – Pure Evil
“I’m guessing White Fang are ensconced in a very specific subculture or clique in the underground punk scene in Portland. This is evidenced by the banner quote on their MySpace page: “Gnar Thrash.” This nonsensical, seemingly celebratory slang slogan must mean something to someone, but verbage such as this means little to the average world wide web-perusing individual. Although listeners may feel slightly alienated by this inaccessible colloquialism, they will no doubt identify with the banal punk figures present in the songs onPure Evil.
The tracks follow the classic format of a punk power ballad — gang choruses, occasional trumpet, heavy-speed riffing — with a not-so-classic touring lineup of a singer, guitarist, and two drummers. Nothing on the album is much longer than two-and-a-half minutes; it simply contains 11 blazing tracks of bounce-around silliness, with barely a shred of activism. A couple instrumentals demonstrate a penchant for thoughtful melody, providing a respite from the high energy of the majority of the tracks, but by the disc’s end, White Fang adopt a noticeably angrier tone, which either translates as noise or crappy metal.
If every band backed up titles as pretentious as Pure Evil with pop punk, the music world might shed buckets of tears on a too-frequent basis. Nonetheless, White Fang’s tributes still evidence the rich history of punk rock, and faulting a young band for imitation and apoliticization ignores their underlying intent, which is to up the thrash and fuck shit up. Despite the mediocrity of their recorded music, I have no doubt that White Fang excel at turning the room into a sweaty, stinky, throbbing mass of punks, who make shit fly and destroy everything in sight with demented grins the entire time.” – Tiny Mix Tapes (2009)