“pounding rock medleys,” WINDY CITY ROCKS


Show review: Shonen Knife, White Mystery, Rambos at The Empty Bottle, 8/2

Next up were local sister/brother duo White Mystery, over whom many words have been spent trying to sum up just how hard they rock. Currently touring the country opening for Shonen Knife, the show was a bit of a homecoming for the siblings White, and they seemed poised to celebrate. “White Mystery,” the first track on 2011’s Blood & Venom, kicked off the set. A fuzzy declaration of love and proclamation of self, the riff-heavy jam almost begs for an idealized rock and roll future as it’s being played. Singer/guitarist Alex White got the pogoing started a set early, trampolining giddily onstage while the crowd mimicked.
I’ve seen White Mystery a handful of times, but Thursday at The Bottle is the tightest I’ve heard them yet. The songs blurred into each other effortlessly, creating a series of pounding rock medleys whose intent seemed to be to cave in roofs and rupture pipes. Clearly students of rock n’ roll, White Mystery have succeeded in taking years of crunchy riffs and swagger and cramming them into controlled two-and-a-half-minute explosions. Drummer Francis White took the lead on “Take A Walk,” a fuzzy basher from the group’s self-titled 2010 release. His pop-rocks-at-the-rodeo tantrum laid the foundation for Alex’s siren’s call and twisting, vine-like guitar licks. The whole set played out like walking over hot coals, in a less painful, more life-affirming way. These days is seems the only thing with more buzz than a White Mystery show is the band themselves, and this show did nothing but justify the hype.

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