Dodge and Burn
Reviewed by: R Brian Roser
I love this album. Not really surprising, since I was a White Stripes and Raconteurs fan before Jack White started The Dead Weather. As much as I love his sound, however, I must admit that Alison Mosshart’s vocals rise above even White’s. What sound is that, you ask? It has been described variously as blues / garage / psychedelic / alternative rock which just goes to show that sub-genres are for pussies and you should just listen to it because it is awesome. There is a lot of distortion and reverb in the music, bringing a powerful, dark energy to the mix. “Rough Detective” for example is the Maltese Falcon squeezed through six guitar strings and filtered through a synthesizer. The final song is “The Impossible Winner”. In a departure from the rest of the tracks, this one is devoid of electrics. There are strings and a piano, but no distortion, just the music laid bare.
The Dead Weather is one of the few bands in the world who owes their existence to laryngitis. While touring with the Raconteurs in Memphis, White lost his voice and asked Alison Mosshart from The Kills to sing. Later they decided to jam together and White brought fellow band member Jack Lawrence along. They later met Dean Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age at the studio. I think it’s incredible when veterans get together to form a new band. Each of them brings their own experiences to the table, while mixing it all together brings a freshness and energy to the music they make.
This album is a hit, but even hits can have some misses. The track “3 Dollar Hat” is annoying like scratching your nails on a chalkboard while biting on tinfoil during a hair waxing using duct tape. Okay, maybe it’s not quite that bad, but this patch of rough sounds worse when lying among a field of diamonds. Dodge and Burn is The Dead Weather’s third studio album and their first in five years. The only thing I now ask of them is that they not make us wait another five years for a new one.