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Even better than the first
on May 16, 2010
It hasn't been long since Jack White first announced the formation of his new side project, The Dead Weather. In 2009, after an extensive tour with The Raconteurs, Jack White brought the Kills' singer, Alison Mosshart on with "Little Jack" Lawrence on bass from the Raconteurs and Queens of the Stone Age guitarist Dean Fertita for an experimental project that would inevitably succeed thanks to Jack White's golden touch.
That summer, the band's debut album, Horehound, was released to typically stellar reviews. The Dead Weather remained hard at work for the rest of 2009 touring and even finding the time to record additional tracks. In March, the band released a new single, "Die by the Drop," giving fans the confirmation they needed that The Dead Weather would indeed be returning for another run.
A low, distorted rumble opens Sea of Cowards with White's trademark musical force. "Blue Blood Blues" is most closely reminiscent of "I Cut Like a Buffalo" from Horehound, but that is sure to do nothing but delight fans hoping The Dead Weather would continue with what works instead of try to make too many changes. Like The Raconteurs, The Dead Weather's sophomore release is even better than their already solid debut. Jack White has an impeccable ability to take a successful sound and manipulate it just enough to keep it fresh while not taking away from the aspects of the music that made it enjoyable and unique.
"Blue Blood Blues" is followed by "Hustle and Cuss," a track that lays down a great groove before Mosshart is given her first chance to shine on Sea of Cowards. There seems to be even more of a vocal timeshare on this album than their last.
On the vast majority of the song "Hustle and Cuss," White and Mosshart find the perfect blend of their sonically different voices which, when singing in unison, creates an original, simulated harmonization with a twisted, edgy sound.
Aside from The Dead Weather's standard instrumentation, the occasional addition of a haunting organ, especially on "Gasoline," fits perfectly within the mix. It also saves the album from becoming too singular in focus. The distorted, evil rock that makes up Sea of Cowards is concluded with another track that utilizes the keys, both piano and organ, "Old Mary." Although it does not have the same powerful, distorted guitar and bass parts that dominate the album, "Old Mary" perfectly sums up the mood of The Dead Weather's second release. With energy hiding within the dark prayer, I would not be surprised to see them use it as a closer before an encore in concert.
Sea of Cowards is an album for any fan of Jack White's previous projects. Where the White Stripes thrive on simplicity and the Raconteurs dominate blues-based rock, the Dead Weather contorts all standard perceptions of rock into their own distorted art form. Both of their albums are stellar, but if you are still not familiar with this band, Sea of Cowards is the perfect place to start.
Similar Artists: The Kills, The White Stripes
Track Suggestion: "Blue Blood Blues"