Review by Ned Raggett
And indeed, there it is on the cover. There's not much in the way of commentary or anything about that, though, so either call it a wry Kiwi joke at the Yanks' expense or just something that looked nice enough to use. Consisting of six tracks of unsurprisingly varying length -- fairly short or totally long -- in ways The White House is Dead C as per usual and in others a bit of a diversion from the usual form. Notably, there's evidence of relatively more production -- while it's hardly hard-disk billion-track digital sound or the like, there's effect pedals galore and senses of very careful arrangement as opposed to simply upping the shadowy, crumbling sound factor. Further keyboards and other strange noises from who knows where also slip into things. The off-kilter tones and noises on "The New Snow" sound a bit like Perry and Kingsley going nuts, at least here and there, while the usual noise, fuzz and detuned strangeness skips around the mix. Then there's the minute long "Aime to Prochain Comme toi meme," which could be anything from minimal guitars to kalimba. At the same time, there's songs like the majestic "Bitcher," with a just-epic enough swoop to it, sticking to a big and bold sound along with some heavy-duty flanging throughout on the lead guitar. Morley's vocals, when they appear, are much more cryptic and hard to understand than ever, almost providing a hook here and there. Absolutely no credits are provided beyond song listings, so if anyone helped, that's a mystery -- otherwise it's clearly the three doing once again what needs doing in Dead C land. Ending with one of the band's best ever songs -- the steady, addictive pace and surge of "Outside" -- The White House is another fine effort from New Zealand's best kept secret.