Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

Raw, fascinating Rock from The Dead Weather

In weeks past I have had a few laughs at some of the bands dubbed “supergroups.” Just because the musicians in a band used to be in other bands, it doesn’t make them a supergroup. The Dead Weather IS a supergroup and they have delivered on their new release, Horehound.

Probably the most famous musician in the band is Jack White of The White Sripes and The Raconteurs. I like some Stripes. I like the Raconteurs first release and am a big fan of the second release. They were fantastic at Bonnaroo, too. White sings a bit, but most of the singing is done by Allison Mosshart, formerly of The Kills and Discount. OK, I don’t know anything about Discount, but I have heard of The Kills (can’t say I’m a fan, but I’ve heard their music). Jack Lawrence followed White from The Raconteurs to play bass for this group as well. Before that, he was with the Greenhornes, who are on my iPod already.  Finally, they are joined by Dean freaking Fertita of one of my favorite Alternative bands, Queens of the Stone Age. It’s an incredible line-up and I had high hopes.

Here they come to save the daaaaay!

Here they come to save the daaaaay!

They made the decision not to be polished, but it doesn’t come across as an affectation. The songwriting and performances are genuine and the rawness is like an extra instrument that adds color and character to the songs. I actually like having White working as part of an ensemble instead of leading it. He’s a great talent, but I was afraid he would be like Les Claypool: everything he does sounds like Primus. While there is no getting away from the Jack White-ness of Horehound, you can hear some songs he definitely didn’t write but he adds a lot of appeal to those songs anyway.

Was Horehound as good as I hoped? I have to report, no. Of course, I hoped I would flip out and rip every track on the album. I didn’t. However, I did rip 5 really good songs. Give them a listen.

  • 60 Feet Tall – A funky guitar riff and heavily echoing percussion back up Allison Mosshart’s lead vocals. Instantly catchy. I knew it was going to live on my iPod within the first 45 seconds.
  • Hang You From the Heavens – The great lyrics make me think White wrote this, but I really don’t know. The song jumps and pounds in a lurching way but the overall effect is heavy and strong.
  • So Far from Your Weapon – This vocals have an organic, garage-band feel to them, but the songwriting is better than any garage band I’ve heard and the oozy instrumentation is expertly assembled.
  • 3 Birds – An almost spooky and at times atonal instrumental that I really like. This sounds like movie soundtrack music. In fact, I could see this as incidental music in the next Ocean’s 11 movie, if you’re familiar with the stuff they put in their soundtracks.
  • Will There Be Enough Water – This is a rough, roots sounding blues / folk tune. After the first few bars I didn’t think I would like it. By then end of its 6 minutes I liked it a lot. It’s patient, hypnotic, and just plain cool as hell.

The other single appears to be Treat Me Like Your Mother,  but I have to say I wasn’t crazy about it at first. I watched this effed up video and I liked it better. I don’t know. Maybe it needs a few more listens.



July 23, 2009 - Posted by | Alternative, Popular, Rock

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