Blues-rock overlord, Jack White, is determined to stay unpopular until he’s popular. He’s neglected the blogability or safety of trendy genres in favour of his own brand of gunmetal-heavy, whisky-fuelled
rock. His latest musical reincarnation is with the semi-super group The Dead Weather. Joined by the stunning Alison Mosshart of The Kills on vocals, QOTSA mainstay Dean Feritita and former Raconteurs
band-mate Jack Lawrence, White has released their début LP, Horehound, through his own label, Third Man Records. Furthermore, White has traded his jangly piano and guitars for a drum kit, opting for a black light role as director of this project, while laying simple and sturdy grooves.
Despite drawing heavily on blues influences and White’s former work, the album floats effortlessly into relevance, sitting gracefully on that blurry line between the new and old. Part hi-fi, part lo-fi, Horehound is instantly likable without being poppy; minimalistic without being boring; rough, sexy, crude and sophisticated. It is dumpster diving with a war veteran, or golf with a hobo. Stand-out tracks include the singles Hang You From The Heavens, Treat Me Like Your Mother and slow groover I Cut Like A Buffalo, in which White and Mosshart’s vocals are barely discernible from each other. Their treatment of the Bob Dylan cover New Pony is also exemplary, sugar coating the tune with grit and sass while keeping the tone of the original. You can hear the album in its entirety free on facebook, or through the usual outlets and online stores. Go on, flirt with the unpopular.
:: Tom Darlow