Extremist sonic terrorism from 'power electronics' pioneers and highly offensive fuckers Whitehouse...
It’s safe to say that Whitehouse are not for everyone. Their music – performed exclusively on three analogue keyboards – contains no
beats, no melodies and, to the uninitiated, no-discernible structure. Their lyrics are mostly obsessed with murder and violent sex and are screeched over knee-trembling noise by the group’s founder, William Bennett, the man who pioneered the ‘power electronics’ genre which has given us groups like Masonna and, to a lesser extent, the Digital Hardcore stable.
Listening to the thirty-something trio of Bennett, Phillip Best and notorious underground author Peter Sotos can make you feel in a way that no other group in the world can. You can feel soiled and outraged – you can also laugh hysterically and become exhilarated.
Over the last twenty years, Whitehouse have consistently overstepped the mark, both lyrically and sonically. Their deleted, 1983 album ‘Right To Kill’ was dedicated to serial killer Dennis Nilsen and their last album ‘Mummy And Daddy’ dealt with issues like child abuse in an extremely close-to-the-bone fashion. In the past, they’ve been accused of extreme misogyny, racism and even of having paedo-tendencies and but, hey, so has Eminem.
With ‘Cruise’, the band have pushed their ‘unique’ aesthetic even further, and have made what is, arguably, their most perfectly realised work to date. From the album’s brutal, buzzing, screaming ‘Cruise (Force The Truth)’ to the final ‘A Cunt Like You’ (the group’s magnum opus), ‘Cruise’ is at turns harrowing, hilarious, awe-inspiring and disgusting. Whatever the emotion, it’s always an extremely intense one.
The album’s centrepiece ‘Public’ is a sound collage made up by Peter Sotos of interviews with murder victim’s families, drug-addled street prostitutes and tearful abuse victims. It’s typically stomach-churning stuff, but when you consider the fact that Sotos took all this material from day-times chat shows like Oprah Winfrey, Rikki Lake or Jerry Springer – shows that we watch every day – you begin to realise what it
is that makes Whitehouse so terrifying and, at the same time, such an invigorating experience. Everything here is real.
If you like your noise records raw, uncensored and visceral, then it’s unlikely that you’ll find a better album all year than this. If easily offended and politically correct then we suggest you steer well clear.