Th Dead Weather: Dodge and Burn (Third Man) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine

The Dead Weather

Dodge and Burn

Third Man

Sep 28, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


If there is anything we've learned about Alison Mosshart over the last decade, it is that she is a damn undeniable star, no matter what setting she's put in. Whether she's dueling with Kills partner Jamie Hince or collaborating with svengali Jack White, she exudes the sort of louche, effortless cool that you expect from rock stars, without ever coming across as apathetic. It's refreshing then that with The Dead Weather, Jack White (the notorious busiest man in rock) is capable of letting Mosshart truly take the reins. On Dodge and Burn, the static electricity that crackles between Mosshart and White (alongside Queens of the Stone Age's Dean Fertita and The Raconteurs' Jack Lawrence) is still enough to send sparks flying, but the ensuing fire is not as all-consuming as it was on Horehound or Sea of Cowards.

The record starts promisingly strong, opening with the walloping buzz-saw riffs of "I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)" and the trembling "Buzzkiller," but the second White takes over for vocal duties on "Three Dollar Hat" things turn sour (not even the upbeat tonal shift halfway through redeems it). "Lose the Right" is rife with weirdly reggae-inflected steel drums and gratuitous organ pumps that sneakily conceal a lyrical reference ("you're as broken as the ghosts that you believe in") to White's ex, Karen Elson, and her debut album The Ghost Who Walks; bitterness is never a good look, but Mosshart does her best to deflect it for White.

Mosshart, who comes across as so deliciously unhinged in all her ventures with The Kills, is being pushed to the edge of her vocal limits with this record, as if in an attempt to keep up with White's shouts and to be heard over the clattering of drums and unholy organs; that seductive heat she always brings hinges on a grasp of subtlety, and Dodge and Burn is nothing if not heavy-handed in its attempt at conjuring up the same gothic witchcraft The Dead Weather once mastered. (www.thedeadweather.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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