The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
It's surprising, in a way, that The Dead Weather have actually bothered to make a second album. Sure, their debut 'Horehound' may have shifted enough units to do so - but both of its main protagonists Jack White and Alison Mosshart have enjoyed a much higher level of acclaim with their respective bands (The White Stripes/Raconteurs and The Kills).
Besides, 'Horehound' was something of a disappointment - an occasionally lazy exercise in lumbering, bluesy rock that ticked all the boxes, but lacked the power to really inspire. Their second album in less than a year isn't that much different, either. These are retro-laced, fuzz-clad garage tunes that are perfectly adequate, but hugely derivative.
Opening track 'Blue Blood Blues' is one of the most satisfactory on offer here, and sees Jack White - the band's drummer - take vocals over a crackly Led Zep riff. Without being completely disparaging of Mosshart, it's White's reedy, unusual voice that works best with this type of music, rather than her own exaggerated shriek. Still, she carries the squall-laden 'I'm Mad' and the brisk pummel of 'Jawbreaker' to reasonably pleasing conclusions.
There's paying homage to the past, and then there's the risk of becoming a mere tribute act to a certain band or genre. White just about pulled off the former with The Raconteurs (mainly thanks to Brendan Benson's input), but this evidence implies that maybe he shouldn't bother with a third Dead Weather record - no matter how much fun he's having jamming with his pals.
Review by Lauren Murphy | 09:00 | Friday 7th May 2010 | Album Review
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