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The Dead Weather Are Resurrected on 'Dodge and Burn'

Music ReviewSean McHughComment

Five years removed from the release of The Dead Weather’s second album, Sea of Cowards, the scrappy indie-supergroup relegated (or elevated, depending on your perspective) to Jack White side project, released their third album, Dodge and Burn.

Following some haphazard research (Google search: “Dead Weather new album promotion”), it has become increasingly apparent that the majority of music/lifestyle blogs and brands covering the Dodge and Burn release are under the impression that The Dead Weather is a project only signified by Jack White's presence and his growing relevance in pop culture.

For the sake of uniqueness, Transverso has elected to avoid diverting the reader with the ongoing and over-saturated melodrama of Jack White vs. Dan Auerbach, Jack White-Hates-Life memes, and the enigma that is TIDAL music streaming, and instead focus solely on his collaborative combination with Alison Mosshart, Dean Fertita, and (the apparently eleven-fingered) “Little” Jack Lawrence.

Dodge and Burn opens with the Zeppelin-leaning “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles),” with Mosshart caterwauling with a warped joy throughout the track. Fertita’s guitar stands out as the song’s flair piece, while White’s drums leads the track every which way, further extending the Bonham-esque nature of the song.

“Buzzkill(er)” and “Let Me Through” follow “I Feel Love” on Dodge and Burn, and both tracks fit the more “classic” Dead Weather sound – sonic allusions to Captain Beefhart, crunchy bass, unkempt drums, and the unhinged pacing. Both are solid tracks, but don’t necessarily offer as playful a tone as “I Feel Love.”

While the second and third tracks on Dodge and Burn maintain what’s familiar, “Three Dollar Hat” heightens the album’s diversity (and overall bad-assery) with a romp of a track. Batting cleanup, the song sounds like Kurt Cobain and The Mad Hatter got together to record an industrial rock track and blow it up one minute in. With only White’s vocals leading the track along, it only helps extend the screwball nature that has become The Dead Weather.

The middle part of Dodge and Burn hearkens back with sounds more reminiscent of Horehound and Sea of Cowards, though “Rough Detective” begins with a brief (but intriguing) sort of skuzzball jazz beat, eventually diving right into the scrappy rock and roll the band cut their teeth with. “Open Up” probably acts as the most archetypal Dead Weather song on the album, with a ravaging opening and the eventual swell into a massive crescendo that lays waste to any expectation of anything else.

Dodge and Burn closes out with a three-track cacophony of rock and roll blitzkrieg – a tight manifesto in “Mile Markers,” a vociferous unraveling with “Cop and Go,” and a triumphant exclamation point in “Too Bad” – and ends with a curious, almost Raconteurs-ish ballad in “Impossible Winner” that acts as a departure from the standoff nature of Dodge and Burn and instead offers the affirmation that The Dead Weather are not just another Jack White side-project, but in fact a full-fledged band that looks to continue for years to come.