The Dead Weather improve, make good rock music on Sea of Cowards

The Dead Weather have always looked great on paper. The group is made up of members of The Raconteurs and Queens of the Stone Age with The Kills’ Alison Mosshart and king of bluesey rock music Jack White himself. Even their first single, “Hang You From the Heavens” was pretty good! But their debut album, Horehound, was pure disappointing rock and roll mush. Now, less than a year later the band has released their second take, Sea of Cowards, and they got better.

What’s immediately noticeable about the band on Sea of Cowards is how much more cohesive they are as a group. They were always tight, but they have now figured out how to make some good songs together. Their sound isn’t much different, but they’re now armed with an album of songs that actually vary in sound. Gone are all the boring filler songs that muddled up Horehound, in their place are some pretty tight non-single tracks that just rock like god intended.

Mosshart is finally utilized pretty well, and her gruff voice pairs nicely with White’s. The songs are focused squarely on the heavy, pulsing riffs and steady, continuous drumming. Whenever an organ or additional guitar lick come into the sound, it’s just icing. The Dead Weather still sound like a bunch of talented people jamming, only this time they all came into the jam session with some killer songs.

“The Difference Between Us” and “Die By The Drop” are the singles that do their job in great fashion. Elements of country bar blues, punk rock and 90s hard rock all make an appearance and it’s a wonderful brew. But it’s the other songs that really make the album. Organ-heavy “Gasoline” is a great track that makes me almost wish they used the organ in every song. “I’m Mad” features a seemingly insane Mosshart singing “I’m mad” and laughing over pretty simple music for a full minute and a half until the band kicks into gear and makes a whole new crazy jam out of it. Low key songs like “No Horse” and “I Can’t Hear You” are simple, easy and fun to listen to; perfect B-sides.

If the message to The Dead Weather after Horehound was “get it together and write some interesting songs like I know you all can,” then Sea Of Cowards is the response that says “got it! Thanks!” This album almost seems like the debut they should have released a year ago. Now that they’ve pulled themselves together, they can get back to work and make an album that’s really impressive. Look guys, I know you can reign supreme over this rockless music world. Stop fucking around and just do it already.

The Dead Weather – “The Difference Between Us” [MP3]

The Dead Weather – “Die By The Drop” [MP3]

Buy Sea of Cowards

4 comments to The Dead Weather improve, make good rock music on Sea of Cowards

  • Melba DeVito

    I used to read your blog everyday but after reading this article I have lost all respect for you and your taste in music.

    Jamie Reply:

    Yikes. That’s a bold statement. But then again, I stem from the school of thought that says one should never disrespect another’s taste in music. It’s usually pretty rude, ya know?

  • I was never a huge fan of Jack White. I enjoyed the concept and brand of The White Stripes and saw them live several times. While I was on the guestlist for a (The) Dead Weather show last year, I left mid-way through. It wasn’t (and still isn’t) my kind of loud and noisy. Aside from his cool runnings in “It Might Get Loud” where I found him amusing in his attempt to contain excitement when in the company of Evans and Page, everything about White – his sound and philosophies – makes me feel *meh*; unfinished. I found this review entertaining, worth reading and would think a fan of TDW would find it encouraging. Interesting that it would lead to someone losing their respect for the author. Hmm.

  • kkd

    Fuck you mate. Say hi to your mum for me, hope she spits in your soup for me.