Tuesday, May 10, 2011

There is hair, and then there is hair. The brother-sister duo White Mystery (Alex and Francis White -- real names, real siblings) slams out some fuzzy, spastic garage rock that makes you want to bounce. Their live shows are mesmerizing. I feel horrible because I continually want to talk about their hair, but all the connotations that we have with the color red seem to fit the bill when describing Mystery's music. There's love, passion, anger, fire ... For all its simplicity, it's rock at its purest and most complicated. The drums and guitars clash with all the synchronicity of a riot and there is something intuitively present between the siblings -- so much is communicated between them with at smile, an eyebrow or a glance -- that ups the tempo, signals a change or unleashes havoc. It's a subtle nuance that you'll most likely miss because White Mystery shreds. As with any good two piece, the sound is large and enveloping to the point that it seems impossible that other band members are not hiding in the shadows, beneath the floorboards or in the rafters. If you read the press, you'll undoubtedly stumble across a few dozen white stripes comparisons. Don't buy it! It's a lazy comparison. White Mystery pumps a whole lot more punk-energy into their music, and, for my taste, it's entirely more genuine, more gritty, more streetbound. Alex and Francis write and play songs that make you feel like you're walking in the world they live in. It has that residue of grease on the chin from feasting on the everyday, of bumping up against the muck and grime of Chicago. They've recently released a new LP Blood and Venom -- suck on that!

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