January 25, 2009

The White Bitch Cometh

The White Bitch
The White Bitch’s Prey Drive

Like most of those who are familiar with The White Bitch’s tunes, I immediately picked up on its early-Prince era influence. However, upon meeting Michael Patrick Welch, the man behind the Bitch, I learned that it was not only the Great Purple One that inspired his falsetto-heavy funk-rock, but also 90s alt-rockers, Shudder To Think. When considering the band’s propensity toward skewed and broken pop melodies, it became clear how it fits within the context of The White Bitch.

His music is equal parts alt-rock, funk, abrasive punk, indie, pop, and R&B –which he somehow manages to do without overloading your senses. His debut album, The White Bitch’s Prey Drive, opens with “hep!,” a guitar-drenched soundscape that is enhanced by Ray Bong, who adds trippy atmospherics throughout the album. Bong is a tireless nitrous oxide-loving local noise-rock purveyor who plays a toy guitar and an assortment of effect pedals. The two surprisingly have a balanced relationship; Bong’s intangible electro embellishments balance out Welch’s workman-like alt-rock. Their collaboration works particularly well on “a confectioner’s dream” and “Attn. 2,” a song which Welch dedicated to fellow redheads during his performance at this year’s Voodoo Festival, or as he puts it, “my people rise up!”

Elsewhere on Prey Drive, Welch showcases clever lyricism on “What is Natural?,” a cryptic album gem. “No, it ain’t natural that you follow me around/The way you cry when I leave and make that bleating sound/No, I’m not putting you in a cage,” he sings. Which may raise eyebrows upon first listen; however, as it turns out, it is a charming ode to his beloved pygmy goat Chauncey. While those songs, and others like them shine, “creamy daemon” and “ASSTRAkt” are lower points on album—which luckily there are few—that suffer from conflicting sonic structures and lo-fi recording quality.

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For more info on The White Bitch, please visit: http://www.myspace.com/thecreamywhitebitch


Sonicman said...

Hey Dominique, thank for discovering these guys for me! Really weird and interesting...

Eleanor Paige said...

really enjoyed reading this!