Whitehouse - Asceticists (Susan Lawly CD)
Say what you will about Whitehouse - and a lot of people have said a lot of things about them over the years - but don't say they've lost their touch. "Asceticists" is as brutal and as aggressive as any album Philip Best and William Bennett (and friends) have come up with since their conception in the 1980's. This album comes on the heels of an infamous Whitehouse North American jaunt, in which they wound up cancelling or no-showing every date minus a handful. So don't say they've lost the ability to stir shit up, either. But nevermind the band's inability to keep a show - "Asceticists" rules. And forget all the bottom-feeding laptopaphobic bedroom noise acts who'll tell you otherwise - because Whitehouse rules. This album comes off in sorts of a sort of spiritual companion album to 2003's "Bird Seed", which is also one of the best Whitehouse opuses to date in my opinion. Every song is pretty much a lifetime dose of electronic hatred and metallic anguish in a 5-minute portion. Prepare to be verbally and sonically berated into submission. And with the album clocking in just under a half-hour, there isn't even time to catch your breath. Best slabs on here are "Killing Hurts Give You the Secrets" (surely a sister act to "Cut Hands has the Solution" off "Bird Seed") and the epic "Dumping the Fucking Rubbish". The two tracks feature vocals from both Bennett and Best, and the former commences with Bennett's intonations giving way to a snarled rant from Best accompanied by an intimidating drum beat that continues until it can go no more and the track collapses on itself. The latter is a complete bludgeoning of Best's rabid screaming over more sick industrial beat(ing)s and ends in the most cathartic and anthemic way possible, almost like a punch in the stomach before being led into the song (and album)'s quiet coda. Anybody who refuses to buy a Whitehouse album "out of principal" is a sucker - they don't know what they're missing.