Friday, January 17, 2014

The Dead Weather Open Up Enough

The Dead Weather
The thunderous union of Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Jack White (The Raconteurs), Dean Fertita (Queens Of The Stone Age), and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs/The Greenhornes) is forecasting a third album for The Dead Weather early next year. The band, which was founded as an accidental side project in 2009, put out two back-to-back albums before shuffling off to do other work.

Initial whispers of The Dead Weather return started up again when White said he was writing new material last July. The first pair of singles were released this week with Mosshart dominating the vocals in one and sharing vocal duties alongside White in the other.

Open Up (That's Enough) fires up some storm clouds. 

The single Open Up (That's Enough) is clearly the more temperate of the two tracks. Mosshart roars on about a near apocalyptic image of the world, tittering on the brink of having hope and losing it.

The haunting and broken track opens with bleakness, Mosshart asking "Have you noted the rivers and the clocks? They're not moving. What about the birds you stuck on your ceiling? Chirping."

The composition lands somewhere between being atmospheric and an all-out rocker, setting a dark and disquieting tone for the track. The verse is a testament to the state of things and the chorus is carried off as a call to action.

The second song, Rough Detective, isn't nearly so heady. It's a much more playful track, with a dueling duo between Mosshart and White. All in all, it's a crazy, catchy cat-and-mouse song about a detective and his mark. The track builds steadily before becoming a full-on freakout, which will easily play to the onstage chemistry between Mosshart and White.

These two tracks will be the first in a steady series of two-set singles until the band releases a full album's worth of material, including several album-only songs. The other element of their release plans is to sell exclusive 7-inchers of each two-set single pressed onto a striking yellow jacket vinyl.

From the onset, White has said that the band wanted to do something different than anything they had done in the past. While both tracks do take on a certain roughness, some Dead Weather and White signature sounds are unquestionably obvious.

Overall, the band is still attempting to plunge deeper into ragged and sometimes sleazy rock and roll experiments. In this case, it seems that there might be a little less blues influence and a little more theatrics (at least on the second track). The sound is fuller, with tighter overlaps and an exceptional sampling of what can be done with stereo sound. Bluetooth speaker enthusiasts will clearly miss out.

In case you ever wondered, The Dead Weather was initially conceived during a Kills-Raconteurs tour. White was losing his voice and asked Mosshart to come out and finish some of his songs. At the end of the last song, White and Lawrence asked her to make a 7-inch with them. Fertita just happened to be sleeping at the studio where the three of them showed up to record. True story. Maybe.

Open Up (That's Enough) Burns Down 8.1 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

Anybody who likes The Dead Weather ought to be bullish on the new release and promise of more material to come. It will be interesting to see how all the songwriting shakes out this time around. Each of them wrote songs for previous albums. They all collaborated on most tracks, both on the road and in the studio.

Open Up (That's Enough) and Rough Detective are available on Amazon. You can also find the two-set single on iTunes. White, who continues to fight for the production of tangible music, would prefer you pick up physical copies from The Vault at Third Man Records. Check Facebook for updates.
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