Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Praise the heavens for the hapless Nick Cain who single-handedly restores the balance. For a moment I was almost worrying and now we can all sleep more comfily in our scratchers. In his opening salvo of a few judiciously chosen song-titles to get the neutral reader on board, added to some predictable incorrect assumptions and prejudices, he teaches us all a thing or two about self-parody and cliché with his lazy now-familiar pattern of countless false contrasts - '...though this...', '...but that...' and so forth. I don't want to dwell on this particular clone (it's adequately dealt with in the interview) other than to say in a few years' time he'll once again be shamelessly stealing all your ideas. Oh well, I guess that's ruined our chances of a New Zealand tour.


terminaltoy said...

But surely he's a grown-up 33 year old now? With this kind of bumf I only skim through and check the names dropped, anyway.

brian said...

an excellent interview and cleared-eyed article by keenan.

however, seeing as certain members of the wire's editorial staff have taken to mounting themselves on some particularly lofty horses regarding fuzzy notions of political correctness compounded with a conservative taste scuplted by the cash of publicists, they just have to have a few digs in other sections of the rag.

the review of "racket" - while not quite as stupid and worthless in terms of criticism as the "bird seed" review (which remains the single worst piece of reviewing i have ever read) - is garbage. i honestly wonder if the reviewer actually bothered to listen to this, or any precious whitehouse records with even the slightest degree of attention, if at all. some choice examples of total ignorance and prejudice: "trademark misanthropic invective", "the tedious prurience of Cruise and Bird Seed" and "a refusal to take any kind of responsibility for their music". to anyone who has listened to whitehouse with an open mind, open ears and even the faintest degree of wit will find those statements entirely missing all the relevant points, effectively nonesensical, wholely incorrect and just plain bad lazy (so-called) "criticism".

i also noticed savage pencil's consistently charmless and painfully unfunny "trip or squeek" cartoon attempting a ham-fisted attempt at a parody of whitehouse: an "in-yer-face wind up session for the masses" indeed. such cluelessness is highly remarkable.

William Bennett said...

Brian - I hadn't even noticed Pouncey's cartoon and I totally see what you mean - fucking hell, back in the day didn't he use to occasionally be funny, or was it just my imagination?

brian said...

he did, a good long while ago now... the "trip or squeek" cartoon in the wire has always been incredibly lame though.

Richo said...

I still haven't seen either the review or Savage Pencil's cartoon but Brian's quotes are enough to make me understand Cain's pathetic 'rent-a-reaction' approach to 'Racket'. Extremely ironic coming from somebody who works for a magazine that attempts to set itself apart from the rest by being more insightful or having a greater grasp of its subject matter. Despite Keenan's excellent redressing of the balance in the very same edition, I think it's fair to surmise Whitehouse ultimately exist outside The Wire's worldview, though. Furthermore, given how staid the magazine mostly is when actually compared to its claim as a document of 'adventurous' modern music, perhaps this is to Whitehouse's credit?

brian said...

the "racket" review barely even qualifies as a review. it could easily have been written by someone who has never actually heard whitehouse.

there is no discussion of the actual music or lyrics, beyond the fact that some of the tracks are instrumental. in fact, none of the tracks on "racket" are named in the review, but in the first sentence cain decides to list the more explicit titles from "right to kill" and "great white death", along with the fact that one of whitehouse's - also (and crucially exemplifing cain's willful ignorance in this case) twenty + year old - album was named after a concentration camp. this last fact is most amusing as william bennett mentions and explains the nature of the use of facist imagery in the interview in terms that explain the reflection of the prejudice of others.

if cain had genuinely listened to the album, didn't like it and wrote a piece of criticism actually refering to the work its self, i don't think it would be as objectionable as what he did write, which barely qualifies as a review and is simply an example of music journalism at its most inept and lazy.

Richo said...

I strongly feel Whitehouse are easy enough to understand on a number of levels. Clearly, however, they're beyond the reach of certain people with slightly retarded sensibilities, prejudices or 40-watt outlooks. I just wonder whether Cain and his ilk would have been offended by the window displays of the 'Never Mind the Bollocks' LP when it first appeared...? Probably. An easy reaction is a lazy reaction and, really, Whitehouse exist in a space where this notion in itself is both addressed and played out even further. Besides all of this, they are a fantastic live group and push themselves more with every new album. They're out there pretty much on their own these days, and my hat remains permanently doffed. Good on them for continuing and remaining a beacon in these only too often dark times.

Miss Kerry said...

"Takes no responsponsibility?"
Christ, even myself - at times a half retarded Spastic ADHD pyscho, could tell that TOTAL responsibility is present. Of a form, these cretins shall never comprehend.
Well as it is said, a king is a king even disguised. and a slave- ever a slave.