Warmduscher, ‘Whale City’ review

The second album from the Fat White Family spin-off takes us to a grime-funk Sin City.

The Fat White Family empire expands further into the mire. Alongside Insecure Men and Nazi clingfilm Klingons The Moonlandingz, Warmduscher are another inventive offspring from the bulbous belly of the Family, with a name that sounds like a German enema and a second album (following 2013’s ‘Khaki Tears’ debut) that manages to defile Blaxploitation funk, garage punk, Lynch noir, surf pop, bellowy blues rock, glam and disco, all inside half an hour.

Consisting of The Saulcano (FWF’s Saul Adamczewski), Mr Salt Fingers Lovecraft (Childhood’s Ben Romans-Hopcraft) and various ex-Fat Whites and members of Paranoid London with equally silly pseudonyms, Warmduscher follow the modus operandi of the entire FWF umbrella corporation. That is, they pick a traditional genre and do everything in their wicked power to leave it a broken, quivering wreck by the time they’re finished with it. Take ‘Standing On The Corner’, a foul, a Gorillaz-gone-feral Blaxploitation funk tune about drug abuse made deeply sinister by stalking psych guitars and the sound of someone snipping random strings from a piano in the background. Or ‘Big Wilma’, classic 50s rock’n’roll fed through a krautrock mincer. Or ‘1000 Whispers’, a Stax soul band playing the last dance in a prom hall riddled with asbestos.


Like a grime-funk Sin City, ‘Whale City’ is peopled by a colourful cast of deviants. The four-devil-hooves-to-the-floor ‘I Got Friends’ finds Clams Baker Jr (Craig Louis Higgins Jr) ranting like a Pentecostal MC5 about Disco Minnie, international hitmen and various other “friends in high places”, while the title track concerns glamorous junkie Jimmy and bulk-mover Lilly scamming and sleazing their way to the top in this filthy metropolis. They add character to what’s otherwise another noble attempt to fuck up the a musical heritage that mainstream acts like Sam Smith tediously treat with kid gloves, but one with the mechanics on show. We know the Family can desecrate the past, now what can they do with the future?