Jack White is a man on a mission. The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, his record label Third Man, and the newly released debut (I hope) album of The Dead Weather; there aren’t enough hours in a day for White. Normally one would assume that with so much effort and quality already produced and spent, there’s got to be some sort of plateau — a point where the wave breaks, even just a little. But on my first listening of the aforementioned debut album, titled Horehound, I was almost completely rocked. There’s only one — one — track that may take some warming up to, for my ears at least.
White breaks away from his usual squealing voice and guitar playing and returns to what turns out to be his musical-virginity-taking instrument, the drums. Being a drummer myself, I can’t wait to throw this album on the headphones and jam to it; the mostly funky beats are a great, relatively simple basis for the rest of the band. And the rest of the band are no slouches either. The real spotlight of the album shines brightest on Alison Mosshart, of The Kills, who sings with a real lust consistently through the album’s short feeling 45 minutes. Mosshart’s sexy voice is perfectly contrasted by Jack Lawrence and Dean Fertita, bassist with The Raconteurs and guitarist/keyboardist with Queens of the Stone Age respectively. Their instruments carry some sick distortion on most tracks, making Mosshart’s voice shine. White doesn’t remain totally silent behind the drums however, offering backing/lead vocals on a good number of the songs. What’s most amazing about this album, however, is that The Dead Weather formed on a whim, and recorded the album in much the same manner.
Before I go further and try to sound like I really know what I’m talking about, I’m going to wrap this up with a resounding “Fuck yeah!” In this era of hipster stardom, with their amazing ability to mix nothing that works together, it’s nice to see a solidly rocking album present classic blues rock with an update to make it just contemporary enough. I can only hope there’s more in store.