Just when you thought Jack White was going to do nothing but solo projects and produce obscure vinyl singles for his favorite bands the rest of his life, he got back together with his comrades in The Dead Weather (Alison Mosshart – vocals and keyboards, Dan Fertita – guitars, Jack Lawrence – bass, White on drums and vocals) and put together the group’s third record – Dodge and Burn.
The opener, “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles),” is a sharp, hot rocker with Fertita’s guitar licks being somewhere between psychedelia and metal. “Buzzkill(er)” doesn’t spare the echo effects, which doesn’t bother me at all. White and Mosshart have great voices for rock, and I love how both of their vocals are often distorted or drenched in reverb on Dead Weather records. This one is no exception.
“Let Me Through” has the fuzziest guitars on the record. They sound like they were played through amps bought from a failed punk band’s garage sale. “Three Dollar Hat” is sort of a rap song and sort of a Captain Beefheart song before it becomes a ball-busting banger that proves yet again what a bad ass Alison Mosshart is.
“Lose the Right” has that “Jack White feel” throughout it. It would be fit as well on a White Stripes, Raconteurs, or solo record as it does here. The keyboards on it give it extra punch. “Rough Detective” deserves to be on the soundtrack of your next favorite action movie. Lawrence’s bass on it is massive and White and Mosshart have a blast with the back and forth lyrics.
Mosshart’s vocal style on “Open Up” isn’t far off from Patti Smith’s (one of her main influences). “Be Still” goes by so fast (under three minutes) that it’s almost like an introduction to “Mile Markers.” The whole band is sharp on this track as Mosshart is at her sexy best, going from soothing seductive vocals to dominatrix-like commands. She continues it on “Cop and Go” with lyrics like “You’re caught like a cop in a cookie jar. Get what you want. Take it all.” The song dissolves into almost punk rock fervor with Fertita’s riffs fueling it.
“Too Bad” is so good that it demands multiple listens. White’s drumming is probably the best on the record here. Fertita’s guitar comes at you from all directions, Lawrence grooves like he doesn’t give a damn what everyone else is playing, and Mosshart moves into rock goddess mode with her voice.
“Impossible Winner” closes the record, and does so without distorting, echoing, or otherwise altering Mosshart’s excellent voice. It’s lovely and a great underscore to her talents.
The Dead Weather have no plans to tour, which is bad news for us, but at least we have this fine record. It’s better than no Dead Weather at all.
Keep your mind open.