“Champagne Holocaust” seemed to surge to prominence on a wave of sheer irreverence and social outrage. It was steeped in all the politically dissenting anarchy of the Sex Pistols, packaged in thesexually depraved antics of “Venus in Furs”. I was completely unsure of what to expect from a band as volatile as Fat White Family, but “Songs For Our Mothers” surpasses the debut in it’s maturity and wit if not it’s shock value.
Opening with “Whitest Boy on the Beach”, a rattling post punk banger fitted out with an 80s synth sensibility. Lias Saudi’s vocals are often triumphant and forward enough to be compared to many of the New Wave bands of the same decade, namely Tears for Fears. “Satisfied” takes the sound back to the tortured debauchery of the debut, but with an electronic danceable twist.
“Lebensraum” is perhaps the most misleadingly named song on the album, conjuring expectations of the kind of shock inducing content the debut was full of. It is however, a rather tame vintage pop track, and something of a low point on the album. Things quickly improve with “Hits hits hits” and “Tinfoil Deathstar”, although the latter does sound uncannily like “Whitest Boy on the Beach”. “When Shipman Decides” is another nostalgia trip, this time in the form of a psychedelic waltz, kitted out with a cartoonish brass bass line. The album ends on a high with “Goodbye Goebbels”, a lo fi acoustic ballad which showcases Saudi’s vocals more openly.
If everything you loved about “Champagne Holocaust” was tied to the depravity of the whole thing, then “Songs For Our Mothers”. If you appreciated the wit, charm and humour more, then you’ll like the electronic spin they’ve put on their sound. I recommend purchasing this album in hard copy.