This is the gospel according to Whitehouse. They?re sick of modern culture and they?re tired of your complacency, and someone just handed them the mic. ?Asceticists 2006? is the sum total of their disgust. Contained within is a pummeling sonic attack on your senses and your sensibilities, one that stands up against any other musical statement released so far this year. Listen cautiously.
Track one runs a stream of exploding barrels of sound under Whitehouse?s signature red-faced, teeth-clenched vocal delivery. It?s clearly evident that the listener is on the receiving end of this sadist proselytizing. Whereas some ?noise? artists absorb pain through their grating manipulations, Whitehouse uses their abusive sound as fuel for their caustic lyrics. The invectives spouted by William Bennett and Philip Best match the muscle of the tripping dub beats and broken-amp hisses. The combination comes across like a smack to the teeth of modern culture, sexuality, and politics. But this type of music isn?t only for the masochists among us. There is room for degrees of separation ? listening contently without absorbing the turpitude yourself, or simply admiring the power of the sounds. Perhaps you?ll even side with Whitehouse in empathy. Whether or not you like your music this sneering, ?Asceticists 2006? is a convincing document that?s hard to turn down.
The content of the album can be divided into three categories: threats, admonishments, and calls-to-arms. ?Ruthless Babysitting,? ?Dans,? and ?Dumping the Fucking Rubbish? tap the same vein, with threatening rants full of accusations both cursed and squealed. The first maintains a running and tripping drum beat that heightens the urgency of the lyrics. You can try to run, but Whitehouse is like the voice in your head delivering the frightening truth. ?Dumping the Fucking Rubbish? is the culmination of all their outrage. Crazed thuds resonate like strikes of a massive water cylinder. A curling electronic manipulation erases the beat quickly, before reintroducing it with some absolutely knee-bending vocals. The lyrics are full of sexual transgression, violation, and frustration. With the rhetoric of a guerrilla revolutionary, Bennett foams and slurs: ?Rise up, rise up?cure this fucking nightmare!?
Not all tracks are so thriving and invigorating, especially when one element of the mix has been toned down. When the vocals take the spotlight on ?Guru,? they are cool yet confrontational, but the lyrics tend toward didactic. Isolated from the rhythm of the other tracks, the lyrics are still discomforting, but now they are bereft of that unique urgency, the call for action. Although it borders on nauseating (think Gaspar Noe?s Irreversible), ?Killing Hurts Give You the Secrets? is more successful at creating a personal, isolated message: stop drowning in regret, ?when you find it right in front of you, do fucking take it.?
By the end of the album, I?ve been converted. Whitehouse has imposed their will, but I still want to hear more. ?Asceticists 2006? may be the consummate musical statement from the band?s enormous discography. They?ve conveyed an impressive body of emotion through sound and lyric, and made each inseparable and vital in the whole intoxicating mix. 9/10 -- Andrew Meehan (27 June, 2006)