Calling Jack White prolific is like saying that people are a bit peeved over healthcare. With the Dead Weather, the erstwhile White Stripe barely let the embers of the Raconteurs go cold before returning to his roots as a drummer and jumping into bed with bass-playing Raconteurs bandmate Jack Lawrence, Queens of the Stone Age guitarist/organist Dean Fertita, and Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart. The resulting collection of songs traffics in skuzzy, blues-rock that White imbues with foreboding sonic nuances. He is very much a force here, especially given the sexually charged chemistry he forges with Mosshart throughout. The splash of a hi-hat and tom tom rolls may be all you hear of White amid the fuzz-guitar leadenness of "Hang You From the Heaven," but it gibes perfectly with Mosshart snarling, "I like to grab you by the hair/And drag you to the devil."
Flickering riffs and a plodding tempo play into the gradual buildup of the opener "60 Feet Tall," whereas the vibe of "Rocking Horse" is Southern Gothic spaghetti western. Mosshart provides plenty of swagger herself, applying a subtle growl to the hypnotic vibe of "So Far From Your Weapon" before playing the role of forbidden fruit amid the acid rock tete-a-tete that is "Treat Me Like Your Mother." Elsewhere, the Dead Weather not only put Bob Dylan's "New Pony" through a Blue Cheer-like filter but get is space-rock freak on via the instrumental "3 Birds," which has a Primal Scream tint to it circa The Vanishing Point. This kind of artistic indulgence rarely pays off so handsomely. (Third Man/Warner Brothers)
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