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I've been sort of resisting discussing the Dead Weather since I first heard about them... why? Well because of my own bias really. I mean it's a new "supergroup" where you have on drums Jack White from the White Stripes/Racontuers... I'm big fans of both... combined Jack Lawrence, bassist from the Raconteurs/Greenhornes, guitarist Dead Fertita from Queens of the Stone Age... another favorite band of mine... and Alison Mosshart of the Kills, a band I wrote about for the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll, way back in the day. Combine all those sounds and all that talent together and it made perfect sense that I'd be really into this band and excited about their music. Although that has still turned out to be the case, I thought I should at least take a LITTLE while to formulate my thoughts. Think of it like a futile effort to try and offset some of my own bias and try and look at this new band a little more objectively.
Yeah, I've only heard one song so far from this new collaboration, but I have to admit, I'm really digging it so far. Sonically, it's actually pretty close to what you'd expect. Take the seductive swagger of the Queens of the Stone Age, the darkness and grind of the Kills, add a little of that White Stripes/Raconteurs flair and you've got a good idea of what the single "Hang You From the Heavens". It's a good mix though that although each individual's influence is felt, it doesn't necessarily like parts of each of the members' originating bands just slapped together. It sounds natural and vibrant.
It also really seems to put the emphasis on Mosshart's vocals. She has a uniquely smoky vocal style and although she shines with the Kills, this new band really works to let her shine... a good thing if you ask me.
And let's not forget Jack White banging away at those drums. I'm pretty sure he started out as a drummer, so it makes sense that he would be able to handle himself on the set. He handles it well, with a style that for whatever reason just sounds exactly like you'd expect Jack White playing drums to sound like judging from how he plays guitar with the Stripes... if that makes sense.
Overall, although it's pretty early for the Dead Weather, and I don't really know if this will be a regular collaboration, or something that they do just for fun, but so far it sounds pretty cool and I'm excited to hear more. And not just more from the Dead Weather, but more from the White Stripes, the Queens of the Stone Age, the Raconteurs and the Kills as well.
So if you haven't heard it already, you can go to the Dead Weather website and hear the single: http://thedeadweather.com/index.html
I've written a few things about the White Stripes and the Raconteurs for the Soul of Rock 'n' Roll already, so if you're interested, do some searching and you'll find some.
I've also written an extended piece on the Kills a very long time ago, which you can find here: Meet the Kills: Delta Blues and Rock & Roll Filtered through Punk that is as Dark as Night.
That only covers the band's first 2 albums, both of which are really cool, but they also have a more recently album that has come out since I wrote that, and I think it's pretty sweet as well. For more information on the Kills, check out their myspace page here: http://www.myspace.com/thekills