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Re-appraising the Dead Weather.


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#1 DeathLetter

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 02:45 PM

Nearly three years since the release of Horehound, and having recently enjoyed Jack's band covering DW songs, I've been playing their music again on heavy rotation the last few days.

I'd be interested to know from other LRers how the DW currently stand in your estimations. Do you still play their albums? Still watch their videos on YouTube? How do you rate them in the rankings of Jack's other projects?

These are the thoughts I've settled on.

1) I under-rated these guys first time round.

2) Like all Jack's music, the live experience beat the shit out of the albums. I was lukewarm on Horehound when I saw them live, but then I was blown away (Manchester 2009!)

3) Likewise, I hugely prefer my Sea Of Cowards Live At TMR to the studio version. Imagine if there was never a studio DW album, and all we had were live bootlegs. These guys would be LEGENDARY.

4) Their music is a lot more groove-based compared to the more traditional song structures of TWS and Raconteurs. Blue Blood Blues, Hustle And Cuss, Treat Me Like Your Mother, Cut Like A Buffalo are all great tracks, but chord changes are few and far between. The lyrics are more instinctive and looser, and it's ALL about the riffs. It makes them an exciting, but ultimately slightly tiring, band to listen to.

5) While I think Jack is a really great drummer, and I realise this will seem like a dumb-ass point to many readers...I can't help wishing he'd been on guitar instead. Look, just listen to No Horse, either studio or live, all the way through. Jack on guitar would have rocket-lifted that song into orbit. I just don't think Dean Fertita, a fine musician, has the same impact.

6) I prefer the Jack White Band version of Blue Blood Blues. It has more texture. I like hearing those synth / guitar licks on violin. I like Jack on guitar.

So, I'd love to hear where the LR stands on the DW in June 2012.

:)

#2 Jujube

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 07:33 PM

I can't represent the little room, but I will play straight man here.

1) I wouldn't say underated, I was more surprised and needed a prolonged adjustment period.
2) They are awesome live! They really developed the songs.
3) Yes, I have ripped the live version to listen to. It gets more listens then the studio version by far.
4) Umm. I disagree. They are not a tiring band to listen to. The only thing that wore me out about them were my fellow audience members. More of the heavy metal asshole type.
5) I think Jack is a great frontman. However, I fully support Allison and very much enjoyed her as front man.
6) I haven't heard both versions live yet.

Edited by Jujube, 27 June 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#3 kluczmen

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 09:59 PM

spinning both albums from time to time, especially Horehound, love that dirty heavy and unpolished groove of it, jam on Hang you is really fuckin' obsessive :D
and yeah, I think that blue blood blues goes better on Jack's concerts, also like it better than his solo version of cut like buffalo

Edited by kluczmen, 28 June 2012 - 02:53 AM.


#4 Ghost Of Bury

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 02:35 AM

I strongly believe the DW were an amazing band. I wish I could have seen them live :(
-I think one of their main strong points was the fact that they had a recognizable style and sound, that was at times different from Jack's normal sound. I'm talking about the Moog distorted synth lines, Alison's screams, and Jack's quite unique drumming style.

-And it's undeniable that aesthetically, like most of Jack's projects, they were very organised and appealing too.

-The Sea of Cowards live album at TMR was insane... Every song on there blew the Studio ones away.

-I think as time goes on, people will rediscover the DW and decide that actually it was a really important piece of Jack's career, and I think we'll all come to the conclusion that he should of stuck with it for longer. Sea of Cowards was definitely an improvement on Horehound, and with one more album I think they could have been headlining festivals, and drawn in a new fanbase.

#5 DeathLetter

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Posted 28 June 2012 - 03:44 AM

-I think one of their main strong points was the fact that they had a recognizable style and sound, that was at times different from Jack's normal sound. I'm talking about the Moog distorted synth lines, Alison's screams, and Jack's quite unique drumming style.


true. maybe it's just that Moog lines don't interest me as much as guitar. Just my taste.

-I think as time goes on, people will rediscover the DW and decide that actually it was a really important piece of Jack's career, and I think we'll all come to the conclusion that he should of stuck with it for longer. Sea of Cowards was definitely an improvement on Horehound, and with one more album I think they could have been headlining festivals, and drawn in a new fanbase.


I definitely agree that the DW will seem like a step in Jack's career. Like I said, I'm giving these guys more credit now than maybe I used to. I disagree about the festivals though. Bands who headline festivals tend to have at least one song with a chorus :)

#6 kandykanekidd

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:06 AM

I strongly believe the DW were an amazing band. I wish I could have seen them live :(
-I think one of their main strong points was the fact that they had a recognizable style and sound, that was at times different from Jack's normal sound. I'm talking about the Moog distorted synth lines, Alison's screams, and Jack's quite unique drumming style.

-And it's undeniable that aesthetically, like most of Jack's projects, they were very organised and appealing too.

-The Sea of Cowards live album at TMR was insane... Every song on there blew the Studio ones away.

-I think as time goes on, people will rediscover the DW and decide that actually it was a really important piece of Jack's career, and I think we'll all come to the conclusion that he should of stuck with it for longer. Sea of Cowards was definitely an improvement on Horehound, and with one more album I think they could have been headlining festivals, and drawn in a new fanbase.


'Were' an amazing band? They are not done yet my friend. Keep 100 bucks saved for the next time they tour, that should be enough for you to see them live.

#7 tresleches

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 07:18 PM

Some of the heaviest stuff I have ever heard. Caught a metric shit ton of their shows, underrated and underappreciated doesn't even begin to describe the experience.

#8 thee radical eclectic

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 09:28 PM

the unabashed truth of the Dead Weather and its reach into the psyche of band and audience alike offers us a catharsis of cleansing

#9 Aquamarine

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 12:24 AM

I've played both their albums, and some of the live stuff, a lot as driving music this summer, and for me it all really stands up. Fabulous stuff, especially because it's so different to most of Jack's other projects.

#10 steadyasshegoes

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:19 AM

For me, The Dead Weather was a huge letdown. I was obviously a huge fan of The White Stripes, and was even blown away by the heavy/country/garage rock/melodic qualities of The Raconteurs.

I bought Horehound the day it came out, assuming it would be the album I really got into that summer. After a few listens, I noticed that none of the songs were standing out, sticking in my head. None of them could pull me in and get me in that music "trance," that state of mind where you are INTO the song. That didn't change. Ever.

I don't dislike The Dead Weather. Every once in a while I'll put in one of their albums, and I understand the appeal. They have a vibe all their own, no doubt about that. If it was an atmosphere contest, Dead Weather would put all his other projects to shame, but that's not enough to make a band great to me.

As far as Jack being behind the drum kit, I support that idea. It was refreshing to see him do something totally different (and Allison's voice is pretty much the female version of Jack's..hah). My favorite Dead Weather songs tend to be the ones Jack sings, yet I'm also up in the air about him singing in the band at all. It's like saying "yeah, I'm drumming for this band, this girl is going to be the front-woman....but I'm going to step up and sing every 4 songs or so because that's what I know the crowd wants." ...which is probably true. Those are my favorite songs by the band. I don't know, I'm not sure about how I feel on that subject.

As far as the music goes, I just can't get into it. 99% of you are going to call me crazy, but I don't find this band heavy at all. I think their sound is very empty, slow, and boring. Jack's a great drummer, and that's probably my favorite part of the band, but I just feel like their sound is full of holes. There are so many times during there songs when I find myself going "c'mon guys, f*ckin tear this song up" and it never happens. I think Treat Me like Your Mother and Die By the Drop are great songs, because they really attack the song. I know every song can't be the same, but there are too many moments on their records that are on the fence "heavy" songs, and never seem to find an identity for me.

This is all just a personal opinion, but I cannot find anything about this band to love. I have many big Jack White fans as friends, and none of them like this band.

#11 thee radical eclectic

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 10:50 AM

i think you have a point of view that locks dead weather into 'ultimate moments' as if songs should be dramatic like 'Carolina Story' but Dead Weather and its vibe are about a different aesthetic of time... you could be an ancient Greek or an urban squatter and still have this sense of knowing the Archetypical Truth coming from the characters in each of the Dead Weather songs... seriously

the thing about Dead Weather is that those people were totally committed to some kind of bigger truth when they let those songs and sounds be made and if Jack stepped up to sing it was only because Dead didnt have the strong enough emotion to let some universal truth to stand him up next to Alison and take that fight on as a timeless battle... even they could not deal with the force coming through them as they put on those masks inside the music to tell those stories and get visceral with all of nature in each of those songs

they are ominous because its bigger than any one of them and what they say seems relative to what all people think... the Raconteurs is very much about each of the personalities and how the blended individuals have their own controls in each of the songs ... didnt have to pick and choose with Dead Weather because it was all one elemental and intrinsic rock solid vibe ... like the weather you dont change it but it moves you and makes you who you are in that moment if you are going to stand up to it when its doin its thing

#12 ymagirl

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 10:29 AM

Good thread! thanks for starting it...

So, obviously most, if not all of you, know I LOVE THE DEAD WEATHER. I swear, the first time I heard 'Horehound' it blew my mind so much I have not been the same person since. I'd go so far to say that 'Sea of Cowards' is the best album Jack has been involved with since Elephant. I listen to them several times a week, if not almost daily. They are most amazing to see live. I think Jack on the drums is pure genius, really set the tone for everything the Dead Weather has done to date. Dean is a beast in his little corner of the stage & I can not agree that he didn't make as much of an impact as Jack could have. The riffs he's written rival some of Jack's best Stripes stuff. and yes, everyone loves Jack on guitar but in this band I think having him take a 'backseat' on the drums just makes it all the more sweet when he steps out with a guitar. I just think these four people together are pure perfection. I'd take them over Jack solo, the Raconteurs and maybe even the Stripes any day of the week. And yes, I know I'm in a small minority here but I think time will prove how legendary the Dead Weather are/were/and will be again.

#13 ToyMachine228

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Posted 02 July 2012 - 07:30 AM

I also love The Dead Weather. I don't like ranking bands, but I probably like The Dead Weather more than The Raconteurs. I saw TDW live in Baltimore in 2010 and it was an amazing experience. I'd second the notion that they are better live than in the studio, but that's not to put down the albums whatsoever. I love both albums.

One of my favorite parts about The Dead Weather is that you can find all sorts of covers and unreleased material on Youtube. I still watch them quite frequently. Forever My Queen from The Basement is in heavy rotation when I'm browsing the web. Not to mention songs like I Feel Strange, Are Friends Electric, the first takes of No Horse and Jaw Breaker, I Just Want to Make Love To You live, tons of stuff.

The members of The Dead Weather have a great chemistry that can't be denied. While I know some people in this thread have said, and will say "I wish Jack was on guitar", but I completely disagree. Part of The Dead Weather's greatness is the combination of Jack's drums and Dean's guitar. It's what crafted their sound. If Jack was on guitar, it would be a completely different band and may not be as unique as it is, especially considering Dean writes quite a bit of TDW's music. And if you haven't seen TDW live, Dean is a total badass, and definitely holds his own. Short story; The line up is an integral part of The Dead Weather experience. And isn't having Jack on guitar for "Will there be enough water?" enough? Song is absolutely amazing.

I'm really hoping for a new album and tour from The Dead Weather after Jack finishes his Blunderbuss tour. Can't wait for their return.

#14 Whazup

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 05:53 PM

The Dead Weather is by far and away my favorite Jack related band

The mixture of the sexy female powerhouse that is Alison Mosshart with the sweet grooves Jack lays out and great riffs from LJ and Dean is something that I really love. I was lucky enough to see them twice in Los Angeles, once in 2009 and another in 2010, they put on AMAZING live shows

#15 leopold_swindle

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:43 PM

i did not appreciate the dead weather when they first came out. i think they differed so much from my expectations that i just didn't give them a shot.

it wasn't until recent months that i really "gave them a shot", and i'm now completely enamored with the band.. especially allison mosshart.

Edited by leopold_swindle, 12 July 2012 - 02:44 PM.


#16 Whssy

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 04:21 PM

I love the Kills and I loved the White Stripes (but not so much the Raconteurs - sorry) - so when I heard about the Dead Weather I thought "this is either going to be awesome or a huge disappointment",

I liked Horehound a lot when it came out. Only saw one live show - in Copenhagen - and to be honest found it a little underwhelming. No matter how big a presence Alison has on a Kills stage, the entity that is Jack White just filled the stage up by himself. Which is good, in a way - but to the detriment of the band as organism. I felt I was watching Jack White show how he could play all the different instruments, because he could - rather than there being any musical motivation for it. Don't get me wrong - it was still a great show - but I didn't feel I was watching a "proper" band, which was what I was hoping to experience. I've seen the Paris show and other shows on You tube and still get the same sense of the band not being as organic as I like my bands to be.Unlike the WS and the Kills, the DW live was never greater than the sum of its parts.

Sea of Cowards was also to my liking, but I'm probably the only person here who prefers the studio releases to the live one.

So - great records - not so great shows.

#17 ymagirl

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 09:47 PM

I couldn't disagree more about their live shows. Every time I saw them they seemed to have become more cohesive as a band, a true super group, nothing like it on stage ever... even Jack White by himself.

I do, however, also prefer the studio SOC to the live version.

#18 Twist of Denial

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:23 AM

I actually haven't had a chance to see them live (yet??) but I was always under the impression that I'd like them better live, and that after seeing them I'd go on a major DW kick. From what I've heard it doesn't seem like the live versions of most of their songs are drastically different than the studio versions (though I might be wrong about that), but I feel like the whole live experience of being at one of their shows and watching them in action would blow my mind.

#19 goodmorningspider

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 05:05 PM

Horehound is one of those albums to me that feels like it's been around forever. It's a truly solid, understated album from start to finish, and i love it dearly.
I'm not anywhere near as convinced by Sea of Cowards; I think if they hadn't released it so quickly, they could've come up with better. Some of it is pretty great, but some of it sounds like b-sides to me. I still enjoy it, but overall i think it's the weakest thing Jack's ever done.

their live show is spectacular - they got so heavy latterly, it was pretty incredible.

#20 Kali Durga

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 06:09 PM

I agree almost 100% with the first two paragraphs ^^, but feel the opposite about the last statement. I wish I'd been around to have seen them in 2009. Videos from that tour make those performances seem so much more spontaneous than what I experienced in 2010.




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