The Weather’s Just Fine
Hand it to Jack White. Not a lot of musicians these days can up and start a new band every couple of years and not have them go the way of the buffalo (or Methods of Mayhem). Though each group sounds remarkably true to White’s style – a touch of ’60s blues rock and modern psychedelia – supergroup The Dead Weather remains the most focused. They must be having a blast, releasing Sea of Cowards less than a year after their debut Horehound.
The group’s first single, “Die By The Drop,” is the embodiment of White’s work: loud, shouty, jammy, and carried by a blues lick reminiscent of the first Led Zeppelin record. The hook to The Dead Weather is the raging, sharp exchange between White and Alison Mosshart. If you crank “Die By The Drop” to 11 and close your eyes, it’s uncanny how much the two vocalists could pass for a screamless Jordan Billie and Johnny Whitney of now-defunct The Blood Brothers. “Looking at the Invisible Man” and “Jawbreaker” seem to follow suit with the guitar vs. vocals call-and-return.
“Hustle and Cuss” gets pretty filthy with enough dive bar smoke to fill every crack of White’s Hendrix-inspired phrasing. Mosshart’s sexy shout/singing might as well include a healthy dose of cussing. “I’m Mad” is the album’s solid piece of jam with sparse vocals and lots of fuzzy tremolo cutting in and out of the track. Mad indeed.
Seas of Cowards closes with a dark prog piece of psychedelia that doesn’t really do much to sum up the album’s sound except open up a jam session. Despite this anticlimactic end, the 10 other tracks prove White and his fellow army of raven-haired musicians are in it for the hell of it.