Review Summary: It's alright, but short tracks and weird remakes a good album doesn't make.
Here's the reality; trying to recreate the utter genius that is Erector
, is like trying to find a second Holy Grail. It is impossible. Did Bennett know this when he made Dedicated to Peter Kurten
？ Maybe, maybe not; frankly, I can't tell. What I do know is that it is an all around good album with some bad flaws that drag it down. Being the first of the serial killer trilogy, and the second of three Whitehouse albums released in 1981, Dedicated to Peter Kurten
found itself in an odd place.
Unlike previous albums before, Peter Kurten
has small tracks between 2 to 3 minutes each. One thing you will notice straight out of the gate is that it uses the same noise formula as Erector
, with piercing scratches and distorted yelling. Innovation was probably not something on William's mind when making this. One thing of note, that this is the first album in which Peter McKay shared producer credits with Bennett. Peter Kurten
also "remakes" some tracks from his previous records.
Going over the remade tracks will force you to confront how mediocre some are compared to their originals. On Top (new version)
] simply remakes the track with Erector
era scratching and harsh vocals that pale in comparison to the horrifying synth shitshow that is the original track. Her Entry (new version)
[Total Sex (Reissue)
] really doesn't improve much on what was already an unnecessary track from the outset. I do praise Bennett's echo effect however, which is something he used frequently in Total Sex
, but never went back on.
This goes without saying, but The Second Coming (new version)
] is one of the most famous and iconic Whitehouse tracks in their 27 year history. It was one of the few remakes that made fans forget about the original and it isn't hard to see why. Bennett and McKay transform the track in a creepy and downright terrifying exploration of masterful scratch effects and curdled yodeling. Hell, I would go as far as to say that The Second Coming (new version)
is just as important as the entire album of Erector
The regular tracks don't exactly have much going for them. Prosexist
, and Rape Day
waste time on the same scratch effects found in Erector, coupled with Williams distorted screaming. Those three tracks have a good start, but the fact they are only 2 to 3 minutes long doesn't give the tracks enough time to get the ball rolling. By the time the tracks end, I feel like something is missing, or unfinished. CNA
just conflicts with the whole aesthetic of the entire album, using a fluid synth sound that statics out of control along with William's yelling. It isn't too bad, but length didn't do this track any justice, and it feels out of place.
is one of my favorite tracks on this record. Using the same moving water effect that was used in Pissfun
while continuously banging a base against it creates a contrast between powerful and soft. While Pissfun
used this same formula, the scratching came too early and it messed up what could have been an interesting track. In Dom
, the scratching slowly inches itself forward as the water sound continues, making it all the more impactful when William hits the gas on the track and all Hell breaks loose in the final track. Dedicated to Peter Kurten
uses the most outrageously ear piercing scratching sound yet and it is a good contrast to Dom
and a fine way to finish off the album itself. One of the more interesting aspects of this track is William's microphone volume effect, and the tracks heavy use of digital effects from McKay, both make the track even more crazy than could ever be achieved with just scratching.
By far though, the beginning track Ripper Territory
, is my absolute top track. Displaying a gong against the backdrop of a newscast of Peter Kurten's trial. The background of the track features a weird buzzing sound, adding to the creepy aspect of the newscast, and making things all the more frightening. Over the course of the track, William's laughing can be heard along with repeated bursts of scratching, adding to an already amazing track.
Overall, Dedicated to Peter Kurten
is good, not amazing, but good. The album's use of remakes and short time spans for tracks simply hindered the album rather than help it, but it did create a fan favorite with The Second Coming (new version)
. It was obvious that Bennett had a lot more work to do, and reminded Whitehouse fans that Erector
could never be imitated, no matter how hard you tried.