August 13, 2009


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The Dead Weather, Horehound
Warner Brothers Records, July 14

My bad for losing this in the monsoon of summer releases, but better late than never or whatnot. I’m not sure when or if Jack White (here playing drums and telling everybody what to do or else) will ever feel that his never-ending quest to modernize old-sounding Hendrix/Cream/Zeppelin has borne real fruit, but this experiment is one kind of no-brainer, particularly if skuzzy post-wave was ever your bag. Kills singer Alison Mosshart is a good second-choice after Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O, who, if she’d signed on to this project and could have sounded as though she were a few albums younger, would have had White going completely Sunshine Superman in his new Robert Plant hairdo, but Mosshart does sound more than splatterpunk enough to get the job done — if you can’t like this album you’re probably holding your breath til Steve Perry rejoins Journey and takes over the universe. Beginning with “60 Feet Tall” (picture White Stripes adding a female-wingnut guest singer for a cover of Peggy Lee’s “Fever” circa Get Behind Me Satan), it’s a slam-dunk-derby of fuzz, kooky-chick-ness and Hendrix axe-work. Only thing that may give you pause is the fact that Jack’s drum sound matches exactly the slow-mo-trampoline effect unique to Meg (or did Spin or Rolling Stone already reveal that he plays all the instruments on White Stripes albums and I missed it, not that I honestly care too much if my cred just dove straight to penny-stock-level?). A —Eric W Saeger