For a band usually as punky and aggressive as White Lung, ‘Hungry’ is a surprising pop sidestep. There’s a chantable chorus ‘Baby you’re weak / Baby you’re starving’ courtesy of Mish Way’s raw vocals that are pulled back from their typical ragged glory into something that might not put off an audience at first glance. Even the instrumentation is less thrashy, from the dreamy guitar that plays behind the brittle lead and then they both collide together on the chorus. The change of direction is exactly what White Lung needed after three albums of perfect punk, but they haven’t left behind Way’s unique vocals or the furious instrumentation on their way to making a song which is more in league with the pop-punk of Ex Hex or Joanna Gruesome.
The themes that the band explore are still very dark and perceptive of a sadness behind happiness, shown both in the video, where the protagonist jumps into a pool to escape her fame or the lyrics, where Way sings ‘The star will melt and we’re all hungry for it’, which could be about people and the media longing for celebrities who will become wrecks just to sell their story or consume another failed fairytale. ‘Hungry’ looks at the victim of the pressured failure without allowing the views of everyone else to change that perspective. What kind of people are we when we ask someone to break down just for a show?