Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Matt Oliver and Sam Patlove
Alex and Francis White drop us down into the middle of a city, right smack into the hornet's nest, the over-developed center of societal, commercial, architectural and mental congestion, when they blast out with White Mystery songs. It's getting us into the veins of an over-stimulated and nauseous creature that's running around in circles, throwing itself against the bars of its cage and doing everything that it can to not become a statistical ink stain, another forgettable something-or-other - doomed to find meaning in the races of the rats, amidst all of the horrible hubbub. It's a ferocious swarm of fuzz and buzz, distortion and clamor that's meant to be a response to the inundation that tends to grip onto people when they've lived long enough. It's getting us into a hidden pool of quick sand and playing the soundtrack that could commemorate the feeling of slowly sinking into the substance, without a vine or stick to grab onto to pull oneself out with. There are songs that the crazily-curled redheaded Alex sings that are Molotov cocktails thrown into ones own messed up, on the fritz head and soul with the hopes that it's going to jar the cancer loose, that there might one day soon be something more carefree to exist for. Her songs are about the pains of getting swallowed by all of the stuff that people tend to place too much importance on - stuff and staying busy. The characters in her and her brother/drummer Francis' songs are victims of being overwhelmed and the feeling is conveyed as much in the lyrics as it is in the ripping guitar sounds and anxious pacing of this most dervish garage rock. We hear, figuratively, about heads that are about ready to explode from all of the shit that's being forced into storage up there, in turn, causing the heart to want to explode with stress and the like. It's as if the people in these songs have just had too much and they're needing to blow off a little more steam than they've been allowing themselves to blow off. It's getting to them. They're frayed and they're acting up, getting louder, getting rowdier and more daring - slightly dangerous. They're beginning to moonlight as fighters for the first time, giving us the pieces of their dizzy minds in hopes that the exercise might do them some good. Alex offers the one line explanation of, "This song's about walkin' around Chi-ca-go," throwing a Da Bears/Soldier Field accent to the pronunciation of the great city's name, for "Take A Walk." It's a song long on that distortion, brimming over with it, in fact, and the song follows a narration of stiff attitude regarding her mode of movement through the streets. These walks that are spoken of seem to be fostering something of a healthy rage in the Whites and perhaps there's just no getting around it, for the streets are full of undesirable folks and problems. It's really what we collect the most of.