Review Summary: Possible the most disturbing album ever made, and with Whitehouse's catalogue, that's quite an achievement
Mummy and Daddy is possibly one of the most disturbing albums ever created. However, this could be said about every album that Whitehouse has released, so what sets this apart" Well, for starters, it even creeped out William Bennet while he was writing it. But aside from this, the lyrics seem a lot more real and grounded in possible situations than Whitehouse’s other forays. It mainly focuses on domestic abuse, towards both spouses and children, and with sexual abuse only hinted at; this somehow makes it all the more horrifying.
The album begins with Philosophy of a Wife- Beater, a track that succeeds in its attempt at being utterly repulsive and terrifying. The malicious whispered lyrics fade in and out of harsh high pitched squeals and distorted mid-level drones. The lyrics deal with an abusive relationship told from the perspective of the husband, the abuser. His spouse is obviously emotionally dependent on him. He constantly tells her that she is worth nothing but she needs him to survive, and she apparently believes this, making it all the more heartbreaking.
The next track is Worthless, A loud and harsh wall of strained digital noise, grinding into the listeners ears. It is also an instrumental, but it is still as disturbing as the other tracks on the album, being physically uncomfortable to sit through as the noise changes pitch and bombards the listener’s senses.
This is followed by possibly the best track of the album, A Cunt Like You. The track sounds like an average HNW track put through a mincer, pulsing back and forth through the listener’s consciousness. The vocals are screamed to the point of distortion and almost to the point of incomprehensibility. The lyrics are actually made me laugh the first time I heard them, simply because it starts off with the narrator saying “I really loathe vulgarity” before proceeding to call someone a cunt in as many ways as possible. However, it was only on a second listen that it occurred to me that he was referring to her physical features, not language. Aside from that, there is no real discernible story to this track, as it seems just to be William Bennet calling the listener names for six minutes. Yet somehow, this is so fitting, so nihilistic, that it becomes the pinnacle of the album. Maybe there is no point to it, and that’s perfect, because it outlines how there is no point to any of the abuser’s actions in the songs, that it is simply there to amuse them.
Sadly the album goes slightly downhill from here, moving onto the track Daddo, A strange track. It starts with a squealed microphone feedback layered on top of what sounds like a fire burning. It then breaks into a harsh and distorted wall of sound, akin to some Death Industrial bands such as Genocide Organ or Brighter Death Now. The lyrics are whispered in an intense tone, with what sounds like anger burning just below the surface. It’s hard to find what the lyrics in this song are about, per say, as they are extremely ambiguous, but no less threatening.
The album then ends with the 20-minute long Private, a collage of numerous disturbing sound bites. It covers different reports on serial killers and rapists, as well as some 911 calls. This is a rather long and uncomfortable sit, and perhaps even harder to listen to than some of the other tracks on the album.
This is generally the point in the review where the reviewer states that while disturbing, Whitehouse are too misogynistic/Racist/homophobic/etc to ever warrant a listen. But I disagree. So many albums are released each year that I consider more offensive than this because they treat the subject matter without care and try to glamorize it, or at least, make it less horrible then it really is. Whitehouse do the opposite. They show you exactly what it’s like to be in the abused one’s shoes, to have insults and vulgarity thrown at you. There is no relenting; there is no happiness, just utter abhorrence and disgust. This album will make you feel like taking a bath, and that is why it is so important. Everyone should listen to this album, to feel how horrible it is to be in this kind of situation and to feel so utterly horrified.