Fat White Family–The Drones

While Fat White Family marked their sonic sea change with Whitest Boy on the Beach, the true sign that something very different was brewing came with the surprise release of their Christmas song The Drones.  Although it does audibly predict several songs on the band’s second album Songs For Our Mothers, including Hits Hits Hits and When Shipman Decides, the text is the far more intriguing development.  Fat White Family are inextricably linked with politics, but their music had, in a way, remained largely apolitical.  Or rather, it was political in form but not directly in content.  Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski had predominantly focused on the abject in their performances, their production and their lyrics as a form of political protest.  But here, for the first time but not the last, the band are highly specific.  In a song that recalls the great protest pieces of Phil Ochs, the group call out George Osborne and Margaret Thatcher by name, as well as the unending remote wars being waged in the Middle East.  And the band doesn’t couch these lyrics in noise or chaos.  Instead, they’re front and center in a soft, beautiful lullaby.  It’s a song that requires patience, but the payoff is worth it.  After delivering a mournful rebuke of abusers of power, the band come to a painful, but somehow hopeful conclusion:

When the war is over/And the drones are safe and warm/On this special night/On this special night/I will die


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