Sea of Cowards By The Dead Weather
It was with something akin to great trepidation (and maybe even a slight fear) that I put Dead Weather’s new record on. This Jack White creation made blues fans everywhere weep with their disastrous-sounding debut album, Horehound in the summer of last year, and it wasn’t a good sign that they’d brought out their second record, Sea Of Cowards so quickly.
And for the first few tracks of the album, I actually thought I’d have to eat my words because The Dead Weather sounded like they were on an interesting bearing here. But lo and behold, four tracks in, it started to sound like the CD player was spouting forth a recording of a dentist’s drill and I knew The Dead Weather as we know and ‘love’ them were back.
The first tracks that were characteristic and somewhat enjoyable were the opener, “Blue Blood Blues” with its solid, bass-filled start and Jack White taking lead vocals instead of Alison Mosshart. The next tune, “Hustle And Cuss” does well to start out with a fuck-infusion and caries the same gauzy vocals (which means they won’t grate your ears too much luckily). And “The Difference Between Us” works because it’s a rare moment when Mosshart’s vocals are mostly in tune and listenable, meaning you have time to listen to the song as a whole instead of cringing constantly to avoid her next vocal tangent.
But it is here that the album unravels and tracks like “No Horse,” “Looking At The Invisible Man” and “Jawbreaker” make it end in a complete barrage of noise in which it’s hard to find much musical merit.
Sea Of Cowards gets half a star for Alison Mosshart’s vocals having improved to ‘occasionally listenable,’ half a star for sticking to their own unique sound on their second record, and half a star for the musical talent it takes to come up with a record this different, but it’s still not a record recommended for you if you like, well, things that sound nice.
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