W H Lung have tak­en around two years to release their first album Inci­den­tal Music. Even when inter­est in their deep and moody music start­ed to esca­late, the band were quite obvi­ous­ly going to do things in their own time. I first heard them at Blue­dot fes­ti­val in 2017 and had one of those moments when you hear a new band and instant­ly become obsessed. Research­ing the reclu­sive Man­ches­ter group was­n’t easy, no pub­li­cists were bang­ing stuff out on social media and this, nat­u­ral­ly, made them appear all the more tan­ta­lis­ing and inter­est­ing for doing things on their own terms.

Lis­ten­ing to W H Lung is like enter­ing a room where some­one has been going mad with a smoke machine. The band roll out a dense fog of sound, and some­where from its depths, lay­ers of sound are born. Their dis­tinc­tive slices of synth and hyp­not­ic, propul­sive motorik beat draw you ever deep­er into each song. And over the top are Joseph E’s expres­sive vocals – impec­ca­bly bal­anced to weave into the song’s fab­ric rather than dominate.

On the cur­rent tour, the band opens with Sim­pati­co Peo­ple, the first track on the new album and it cap­tures the feel of the new body of work. Like much of their mate­r­i­al, it’s a long song and Sim­pati­co Peo­ple takes you on a ten-minute jour­ney, from its slow lead-in through to an ecsta­t­ic mid­dle sec­tion and on to its clos­ing notes. WANT is the short­est track, too short. And it’s the track with the most synth-pop­py 80s sound, while hints of Echo and the Bun­ny­men and The Cure sur­face and fade.

W H Lung on stage in Hackney


On stage, the band leave Joseph E to pro­vide crowd thrills. He has a pres­ence – extreme­ly tall, gan­g­ly and bare­foot, pac­ing around his space on the small stage like a coiled spring. Hav­ing seen W H Lung’s expan­sive sound twice fill large fes­ti­val tent stages, in com­par­i­son, Oslo is a small venue and although pos­sess­ing a great sound sys­tem, it felt a lit­tle too con­strained at times and the vocals were too low in the mix. At one point they briefly appeared to lose the vocals alto­geth­er. Of the new­er mate­r­i­al, Sec­ond Death of My Face sound­ed par­tic­u­lar­ly pow­er­ful played live. No sur­prise that W H Lung closed with what has become their sig­na­ture tune, Inspi­ra­tion! – an infec­tious dancey track, and it was good to see there was even a lit­tle bit of mosh­ing going on down at the front.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *