Music: Whitehouse

Whitehouse was an electronic music group formed by William Bennett that is seen as the Trope Maker and Trope Namer of what is known as power electronics. The modus operandi as stated by Bennett was "creating a sound that could bludgeon an audience into submission," and indeed, much of their catalog consists of walls of loud, white or pink noise, synthisizers distorted to the extant that they wouldn't generate any notes resembling music, and screamed vocals depicting violence, rape, serial killers, prostitution, self-harm, and child abuse. They took their name from the infamous Moral Guardian Mary Whitehouse.

Before Whitehouse, Bennett had a band called Come, which in its brief existence also had Mute Records' Daniel Miller and J.G. Thirlwell as members. Because of these associations as well as collaborations with Nurse with Wound, Whitehouse and the power electronics movement are viewed as early industrial music pioneers.

The most notable members besides Bennett are: Philip Best, who joined at age 14 in '82 and largely stayed until Whitehouse's end in 2008, Kevin Tompkins, a member during the 80s who left to start Sutcliffe Jügend, and Peter Sotos, a controversial writer, to say the very least. After a hiatus from 1985 until 1990, the line-up became Bennett, Sotos, and Best.

A duo after Sotos' departure in 2003, Philip Best left to concentrate on his own project, Consumer Electronics in 2008, leading Bennett formally disband Whitehouse to concentrate on his new Cut Hands project, mixing noise with African-influenced percussion.

Tropes associated with Whitehouse:

  • Careful with That Axe
  • Cluster F-Bomb
  • Embedded Precursor - some Cut Hands releases feature select percussive 2000s-era Whitehouse instrumentals completely unchanged from their initial release.
  • Loudness War - particularly the later, digtally produced records. That said, the albums before the digital era are still mixed lower than most contemporary pop music. Compare a track like "Torture Chamber" to a Katy Perry song...
  • Separated by a Common Language - Uses the word cunt a lot and they're from England, so this fuels much of their accusations of misogyny. Of course, in some cases, that's their express intent...
  • Spoken Word
  • Start My Own - Philip Best's Consumer Electronics and Kevin Tompkins' Sutcliffe Jügend; both of which have had records distributed by Bennett's labels, Come Organization and Susan Lawly.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song - "Cut Hands Has The Solution" which is a simple beat played under Bennett's rants.
  • Token Evil Teammate - Peter Sotos; to quote Weirdest Band In The World: "Where Bennett, Best and even the rather intense Tomkins seem to be drawn to gruesome subject matter mainly for its shock value, Sotos seems genuinely, pathologically obsessed with it."
  • Walking Shirtless Scene - Bennett and Phillip Best frequently take their shirts off during live actions (i.e. shows).