Black Lungs - Valley of the Dolls [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Black Lungs

Valley of the Dolls [7-inch] (2010)


I'm sure that I'm not alone when seeing a band for the first time and having no preconceived ideas about who they were or what they sounded like, to get such a rush of exhilaration from the performance that you're rooted to the spot like a deer trapped in the headlights of an oncoming car. Well, that feeling hit me recently when I saw Black Lungs support Fucked Up in my adopted hometown of Plymouth (UK).

Needless to say, once the gig was over (and Fucked Up had laid waste to all there, as is their way), I scooted along to the merch table and purchased this Black Lungs 7" which was amongst their meagre merch offerings in comparison to their fellow Torontotians (I might have made that word up) who swamped the table with a myriad releases.

With its lurid yellow cover featuring a slightly lurid picture and just the two tracks, this is punk rock that reminds me of being a young boy back in the late '70s/early '80s, gazing slack-jawed at walls of singles in various local record shops and spotting something that stood out from the crowd. Purely on appearance, the Black Lungs single certainly does that.

Musically, this is relatively straightforward stuff, with buzzing guitars, shouted refrains and a battery assault of drums. Although clearly lacking the power that emanated from the live performance, the two tracks here, the title track and flipside "Stay Out of Parkdale", undoubtedly do the business in providing high-quality, short, snotty punk rock which can strip the paints from the walls whilst somehow sounding as fresh as a daisy–no mean feat there!

Now I wish I'd picked up their split 7" with Cancer Bats as well, but c'est la vie. Roll on, a Black Lungs long-player.

Oh yes, for anyone who is interested, this band is a side project of Wade MacNeil from Alexisonfire, so it might be worth checking out if you're a fan of his work in that band.

Post Script: With some detective work I have discovered that Black Lungs have had one album out back in 2008, and a new one, Pagan Holiday, due out sometime this year. Wonderful news indeed.