The Dead Weather
Dodge and Burn
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Jack White unleashes his inner Led Zeppelin once again on the third go-round of his somewhat supergroup the Dead Weather. Five years after their previous release, little has changed with this hard charging quartet.
That might be an issue for other bands, but White (on drums and occasional vocals), frontwoman Alison Mosshart, bassist Jack Lawrence and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Dean Fertita have plenty of venomous riffs still up their collective sleeves. They release them with a surging, angry intensity that seldom wanes for the 12 tracks. The album pummels through a powerful 43 minutes, seldom slowing down to let you catch your breath. From the opening fuzz riffage of “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” to the military drum beat of the psychedelisized “Mile Markers,” Mosshart makes a case for being an even more driven singer here than with her full time Kills gig. Even when the vibe quiets down at least for a short while, the mood is vicious and menacing on tracks such as the stripped down razor edged “Let Me Through” and White’s strangled vocal led “Three Dollar Hat.”
The foursome don’t so much play these tunes as attack them like a four headed rabid dog, ripping out blues based licks with edgy energy and a growling hunger that belies their high profile. They even get (relatively) playful on “Rough Detective” as White and Mosshart trade lead vocals, before joining for the chorus as the guitar and drums pound away. For those who think Mosshart is all snarl and sneer, she shows real vocal chops on the closing “The Impossible Winner,” as close as this album gets to a touching ballad.
Hang on for a wild, careening drive as the Dead Weather take you on a searing ride through gutsy, fiery rock and roll that’s powerful and relentless, not to mention well played and tautly produced. White can proudly add another notch to his already crowded belt and racks up a winner that’s raw, uncompromising and ready to be the soundtrack for your next party in hell.