Say Psych: Album Review: White Hills – Stop Mute Defeat

Rating: 8/10

White Hills have re-evaluated their approach to creating music to incorporate the dismal reality of the current climate. Garnering a reputation for an ever evolving sound, Dave W. and Ego Sensation have unabashedly produced an industrially-charged record that pulsates unlike anything they have released before.

Stop Mute Defeat is to be released on 19th May 2017 on Thrill Jockey Records and is the tenth LP the band have thrust forward. The release is accompanied by a 39 date European tour including 6 UK dates, starting in Stuttgart, Germany on the 19th May.

The eight track record opens with ‘Overlord’, a gnarly electronic number with a probing bass line and plucky guitar riff peaking through. The lyrics place emphasis on capitalism and acquisition, with the use of news sound bites adding a little comfort. ‘A Trick of the Mind’ is a pacey number with a hypnotic bass line, chanted lyrics, and a fuzzy, swirling guitar line so enchanting that this track enthrals and you fall deeper as it progresses.

‘Importance 101’ delves through the looking glass to depict a twisted nightmarish world, where unfortunately everything isn’t quite as unfamiliar as it would first seem. The video created by Ego draws inspiration from and channels apocalyptic visionary artists such as Derek Jarman and William Burroughs. ‘Attack Mode’ lives up to its name, with its aural assault courtesy of repetitive drumming and a heavy dual guitar pattern. ‘If…1…2’ falls further down the rabbit hole with oscillating experimental electronica. The lyrics “broken boy / broken girl / broken toys / broken world” is particularly enchanting, especially when taken in conjunction with the current political and socio-economical climate.

‘Sugar Hill’ is the mellowest offering on the LP, with moody vocals, assonance created through bass and atonal synth interludes. ‘Entertainer’ calls on droned vocals and a synth melody to create a juxtaposition of sound. Title track ‘Stop Mute Defeat’ appropriately sees out the album with a bouncing tempo, repeated vocals and jangling synth riff.

Offering a very different vibe to what fans are accustomed, White Hills have thrust forth their own fearless and necessary denunciation of the political and economic powers that be. An air of cynicism prevails and will appeal to the un-enthralled who seek reprieve from the mediocre. Music is a powerful medium and White Hills have unashamedly used it full effect.

You can order the album here:


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