The Edmonton Sun - August 2004


Whitey Houston

5 out of 5

The dawn of the age of Whitey Houston is upon us - or at least those of us
who actually know what record players are, never mind being able to brag
about having functioning ones plugged in.

But unusually coloured vinyl is the domain of the rockers such as these who
understand art, who, like the Vertical Struts, choose this format not so
much out of defiance as widespread commercial indifference. Which is
interesting, because if I could pick only one song that everyone listening
to the Bear should hear, it would be this hooped-by-the-man A-side, of
course unplayable on the radio due to what could be coyly called a "language
barrier." Someday soon we'll be able to use everyday words like "firetruck"
minus the "iretr" in mainstream media, but until then you'll have to play
this at home or listen on CJSR.

Just to be super futuristic, you can also listen to the band's entire
recorded output for free at And so much for that.
Wisely kicking off their recording careers with their most solid
sledgehammer, Whitey and Gravy's pounding, drum and bass-as-guitar
sexplosion comes across very nicely on a song where, with no story told,
Whitey repeats the phrase "I got f---ed by Liberty Mutual" over his rapid
strum. Set up like a call to a complaint line, it's hilariously infectious,
and ends with a special note to Long & McQuade with an operator complaining
about the inappropriate language.

Flip the pancake and Turning is a calmer, Mudhoney-ish fuzzbomb, pleading
and menacing at once. Together, the two songs move the band further into
your heart, helped needlessly by a great, lo-fi design. A great gift for
precocious children of all ages!
- - -