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Frustratingly moronic and occasionally melodic, Portland slacker lo-fi package White Fang recoil from anything approaching subtlety to deliver uneven, gobby rock.

My favourite track on Beck's seminal slacker art montage Mellow Gold is 'Motherfucker'. Foul mouthed and harebrained, it is surrounded by fare which pitches it as brilliantly, knowingly ironic. Post-modern dumb-assness basically, like Beavis and Butthead's glowing reaction to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's Dang. It sums up the moron's charter: weed, booze, party, sleep, repeat.

The point is that for all its bluster Mellow Gold wasn't just thrown together, and nor were any number of similarly grouped classics, from Alien Lanes to Harmacy. Each painted a neat picture of a chaotic, romantic, disjointed society that felt stripped of its moral centre, the latter years of generation X, which swiftly became incorporated, mainstream and highly profitable. Beck made a very comfortable transition from troubadour to lounge lizard, and on to art pop icon, headlining festivals and cherry picking guest appearances and remixes from up and coming alumni. The so-called slacker turned out to be a workaholic.

Full Time Freaks on the other hand, feels very, very thrown together. Lacking much in the way of discipline or even gawky charm, you get the impression its songwriting team are resolutely un-arsed about anything other than their stated ethos:

"Four freebirds high on life, doing the things we wanna do, we'll get as high as we fucking please, fuck it."

...and the getting high thing is clearly impinging on whatever quality control method they employ. I was surprised to read in the press bumf that this is their seventh release. Not so much surprised actually - offended. Guided by Voices and Mark E Smith can get away with pushing out an album or two every year because they have a solid catalogue and an inspiring, pioneering spirit. Sure the organisation may be choppy - and the line-ups even more so - but you can hang your hat on a Fall album.

I refuse to believe that my lack of appreciation of this record has anything to do with a misunderstanding of the culture that lies at the heart of the band. I refuse to believe that I am just missing the point. For me, there is good, freewheeling, cacophonous music, and there is risible nonsense.

Must we talk about the songs? We must. 'Shut Up' is a fully fledged Moldy Peaches knock off, stocked with the mention of a 'dick in my shorts' and accusatory nod towards a stranger smoking your grass. I hate that! Green and Dawson got by on exactly the sort of slackjawed rambunctiousness that White Fang attempt, with the addition of... you know, funny lyrics, a rabbit costume, good melodies and junk. 'Goodbye to Bedtime' does the one note punk aesthetic, with tinny crackling guitars and spoken word breaks that try to recall Black Francis. White Fang: Don't Do It!

'Talkin to the Apple' seems to have flown in from another album, uncertain as to why it belongs in amongst all the lazy guff. It has the feel of a student bedroom project, but at least with a spatial awareness that is sadly lacking elsewhere, as well as a defined structure and muzak-y guitar sound. 'Full Time Freaks' returns to the annoying, punk-lite base line, with lyrics that make Adam Green look positively Chaucerian. The album doesn't so much rise and fall as splutter and nosedive.

White Fang claim to be explosive live. That's by the bye. This album is a recalcitrant dud that plunders the worst aspects of countless better artists and debases the already flatlining slacker oeuvre. Do your ears a favour, buy the Eagulls album instead.

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