"Don't make waves in the water," Beth Ditto sings on the similarly titled track on the Gossip's second full-length.
"Don't make waves in the water," Beth Ditto sings on the similarly titled track on the Gossip's second full-length. Then ignoring her own sarcastic advice, Ditto lets her voice thrash over the song's primal rhythmic stomp. Dripping with dance-party sweat, her words slap their way through the back-porch blues guitar with liberating moans and restless shouts. Like Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Ditto is the star here. On "Night," she extends a simple "yeah" for nearly five seconds, drawing out the word to let it quiver, hinting at something more lascivious. Her mix of gospel and punk pits her somewhere between Ma Rainey and Jennifer Herrema (of Royal Trux), while Nathan Howdeshell's guitar skirts along like a barbed wire fence loose in a hurricane. In the end, the Gossip's approach to rock isn't all that different from that of the White Stripes, with energy and excitement placed ahead of invention.—TM