Yesterday saw the Irish release of the second album from Jack White and Alison Mosshart’s Dead Weather. The album, Sea of Cowards came with four exclusive photos if you bought it at HMV (there’s still some available as far as I know), and will be released worldwide early next week.
Sea of Cowards probably isn’t as immediately accessible as their debut, Horehound, which launched them on the scene last year, but the highs are much higher this time around.
The album is as dirty and as aggressive as the first, and the greasy ‘Blue Blood Blues’ really sets the tone. It’s a great, gritty opener with a fantastic repeated riff, and includes the amazing line “shake your hips like battleships” and the refrain “I sing at Sunday service”. Nobody else but a Jack White band could pull this off.
‘Hustle and Cuss’ is the album’s first Alison-fronted tune, and although it has a fantastic title, it’s one of the album’s weaker tracks. I probably was expecting a lot more from the song’s name. It just never really gets going. You know what its problem is? It’s not loud enough. Loud is exactly what you want/need (delete as appropriate) from the Dead Weather.
‘The Difference Between Us’ is the only song solely credited to just Mosshart and White, and is one of their finest songs yet. It’s got a kind of B-movie sci-fi theme, and has the feel that it wouldn’t be out of place on a White Stripes record. ‘I Can’t Hear You’ is similar, and features fantastic guitar lines. How can you not love the squeal from White’s guitar?
Some of the songs are complete throwaway tunes, ‘I’m Mad’ and ‘Old Mary’ particularly. The schizophrenic ‘I’m Mad’ totally interrupts the flow of the album, and is the worst song in the Dead Weather canon (and probably one of the worst things White has put his name to).
Luckily, most of the album is fantastic. Single ‘Die By the Drop’ (which is missing White’s name in the credits) was a fantastic way to introduce the new album, but the highpoint comes later on ‘Gasoline’, which improves on ‘Cut Like A Buffalo’ in every way. ‘Die By the Drop’ features fantastic vocal interplay between Mosshart and White, and has a chorus that demands to be sung along with at maximum volume.
‘Gasoline’ is the best song so far from the Dead Weather, and would probably be in a list of the top ten Jack White songs. It’s that damn good, and is worth the admission price along. Even the opening few bars are incredible. It’s definitely Mosshart’s best song of her career (Kills tunes included). Go and listen to it now…