Album Review: The Dead Weather – Dodge And Burn

Dodge And Burn

Released 25th September 2015

Words: Gary Lambert

dead weather dodge and burnWell hello blues music. Welcome to the future! This is an album which is going to excite people and hopefully widen the tastes of the current music fanbase. From the opening track I Feel Love (Every Million Miles) through to the finale of Impossible Winner we are on the receiving end of some raw, ear burning guitar- heavily influenced by times gone by. This time it is different though. There is vibrancy and power and poignancy in every jarring note rather than a desire to sound like Leadbelly or Lightning Hopkins. Without going so far as making an album of dance music we have an album constructed from a similar framework with fast, altering beats acting as the skeleton on which layers of rock and blues glory are placed.

Whilst you associate Jack White with a stoic belief in sticking to the styles of the past, it feels as though he has become part of a collaboration rather than the flagbearer who pushes everybody through. Indeed it is the songs sung primarily by Alison Mosshart which stand out move than anything on the record.

The last track on the album seems mindblowingly simple yet so incredibly different to anything which has gone before as the band perform a track suitable for Shirley Bassey or to get away from the past Lady Gaga when she is in diva mode rather than pop idol. It isn’t a radio friendly unit shifter that has been stuck on to give a record company a big single but a band and a singer showcasing exactly what they can do. After the giddying heights reached by the band throughout, this is a truly WTF moment.

That said you are generally not going to buy this album if you usually purchase records by Adele and Taylor Swift, so the other eleven tracks give you exactly what you want to here. This is a band performing at the peak of their skills. Second track in, Buzzkill(er), is propelled through with guitars so raw and heavy you feel they could be used to cut down trees. Three Dollar Hat is a curious mix of the mysterious, the blues and The Beastie Boys on slow-mo.

For me, this album makes me desperate to see The Dead Weather in action. The music fan in me prays to the Gods of Rock that this is not a studio-only sound which is possible as it is complex as well as accessible and wild. Cop and Go a riotous guitar blast with a beautiful disgusted vocal is made for howling winds and apocalyptic rain during a summer weekend.

Penultimate track Too Bad will have lawyers reaching for their Led Zeppelin albums as it sounds like Robert Plant replaced by a woman – with one riff stolen so obviously from Nobody’s Fault But Mine it should be played with a guitar with swag on it. Unsurprisingly it is statuesque and glorious.

Dodge and Burn is not a suggestion as to what you should do when this album comes you way. Grab it and listen is so much more appropriate. Then repeat. And if you’re a female singer with a taste for rock rather than Mothers’ Day, listen to it and be inspired! The greatest rock star of a generation has been completely overshadowed and it is exhilarating.

 

Listen to Cop And Go here:
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