Thursday, November 21, 2013
White Murder "Arteries are Flexible" - self released
I think that I've been forgetting the obvious in covering White Murder previously. We know they play an aggressive, fast punk but what's really unique about the whole things is the duo of front women, Hannah and Mary that not only fly in the face of this male dominated genre but then defy the idea that two women can't working together this intimately leading the vocal direction of a band. It's tricky getting into sorting out gender inequality when it comes to rock but at the very least I bet we could use more of this in sound and spirit. Reminds me to check out The Punk Singer doc about Kathleen Hanna for more perspective on that era of Riot Grrrl, although the best thing sometimes is to not even box this in by starting that beaten conversation and just let the music speak for itself.
Ominous, humming steel cables open "Arteries Are Flexible" tethered to a guitar pickup creating a low end bass rumbling while a melody creeps deliberately slow, carved out of hard stuff for Mary and Hanna to nail this lyric that starts out with a bunch of diseases strung together. Terrible combinations you've never heard of. This jagged post punk with disjointed peaks and valleys begging you to find a hole in it without sounding too together unless it turns suspect. The toms beat out that tribal pattern behind the two of them chanting in their higher register no bullshit style. You couldn't get this kind of dead eye confrontation if two guys were doing this, I'll tell you that. Could have just been doubled vocals in the studio but when you realize this is their live arrangement it deserves a double take.
"Shutter Speed" counts off into a faster jangly punk banging more of the beat out bursting lyrically into Sleater Kinney or Mika Miko's frantic, jittery punk. This one's an abstract track about some kind of film shoot or theatrics running full speed with a hyper stomp beat and wacka wacka guitar that might have some distant relation to nihilistic reggae. The harmonics of these two yelling together is really something special and even more so when you look at the usual makeup of this sort of sound. By their very existence they challenge a lot of stereotypes before even blowing out a single PA.
Xerox lyric sheet inside with a typewriter font inner label, hand screened sleeves, home made punk, the real good kind. Pick it up from Spacecase distro at the punk price of $5.