Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Dead Weather - Horehound (WEA/Reprise, 2009)

The Dead Weather is a rock 'n' roll super group consisting of Jack White of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs on drums, guitar and vocals, Allison Mosshart of The Kills on vocals, Jack Lawrence of The Greenhorns on guitar and Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age on bass. Melding garage band rock 'n' roll to a decidedly sleazy and dangerous vibe, the group makes some pretty seductive music. Things click on the opening track, "60 Feet Tall" which builds ominously to a point where Mosshart spits bile in the vicious chorus. A stuttering riff opens "Hang You Up from the Heavens" which introduces a bluesy "sinner vs. saved" theme to the lyrics that will crop up repeatedly in the album. "I Cut Like a Buffalo" is one of the key tracks of the album, with the band pounding out a massive bass led fractured reggae groove, White takes the microphone to spout emotional and enigmatic lyrics. "Treat Me Like Your Mother" is the most scalding rock 'n' roll on the album, perfectly stitching together the scorching primal rock riffs with a hint of 70's period Rolling Stones vulgarity. A cover of the obscure Bob Dylan track "New Pony" gets the bands juices flowing as well, with White drumming in a muscular fashion and screaming out background lyrics, while Mosshart grinds out the lead vocal. This was a good album, and more than the sum of its parts which is always a concern with the egos at play. There is an off the cuff quality to the music, but even when the summon rock 'n' roll cliches, they do them with energy and excitement.
Horehound -

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