Portland, Oregon dwellers White Fang might never be described as precise or predictable. No, their sound is too raucous and free and the live shows too close to what Pink & Brown used to do in the best way possible. After a couple of enjoyable power-pop-punk-thrash-gnar non-cassette only releases (Pure Evil and Whatever) and a handful of pretty good singles, the guys return with Grateful To Shred (or is it Greatful To Shred as on the cover?). A sleek affair under half an hour, this is a varied enough collection of music that boredom never sets in. Unhinged and aggressive even in the quietest moments, Grateful To Shred efficiently satisfies.

This album seems designed for vinyl or cassette. There's no other way that this kind of garage-fi can sound proper, but the shout of vocalist Erik Gage dictating, "I'm grateful to shred/Yeah/Sooner or later gonna wind up dead/Oh," defies that odd in the bed of home recordings. Every mistake in timing comes off as intentional and the band's 'fuck all' attitude helps. Gifted with a case of severe ADD, Shred also manages to knock out a good variety of styles and/or pastiches in its brevity. From doo-wop tendencies to SST punkoid frenzy, singalong nonsense to garage with more cymbals, the inability to predict the next song fully while accepting the rampant change excites and draws in. Wholly satiating and crunchy in its eleven tracks, this album pierces the veil of fidelity hang-ups and staid sameness as no other WHTFNG thing has.

It should be obvious that I root for this kind of youthful riot. To promote this sort of kickback forward thought (in terms of both the band's music and their release strategies on their own Gnar Tapes & Shit) remains a joy thanks to the motivation of the sound. As wont to be let down as I am by releases, the pleasure of being happy and excited is always better. White Fang have done that, and the result is great for those willing to accept it.

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