The Dead Weather, "Sea of Cowards"

87 Billboard Rating

Less than a year after debuting the Dead Weather with last summer's "Horehound," Jack White is back with a second set from the Nashville-based psych-blues supergroup, which also features members of the Kills, the Raconteurs and Queens of the Stone Age. "Horehound" proved that the Raconteurs' rock-radio success hadn't straightened out White's avant-metal kinks. But if you thought that one satisfied his freaky streak, think again. "Sea of Cowards" is even wilder, with grungier guitars ("I'm Mad," "No Horse"), greasier synths ("The Difference Between Us," "Gasoline") and funkier neo-John Bonham beats from White himself ("Jawbreaker," "Old Mary"). Singer Alison Mosshart presides over the sonic swamp with her signature scary-sexy yowl, even lending a punk-gospel throb to "Hustle and Cuss" and opener "Blue Blood Blues." "All the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service," White sings in the latter. Dude, can you really blame them?

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