Music This week

Music This week

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Sea of Cowards

The Dead Weather

Warner Bros

Rs 395, rating: HHHH

The 1970s gave us Robert Plant. And the 1990s delivered Jack White,with a radical and at times outrageously candid approach to music. The 34-year-old singer/guitarist/drummer,sometimes vivacious but most times delirious,has channeled his euphoric rush of music through his bands White Stripes,The Raconteurs and the ultra-cool super group The Dead Weather (TDW).

TDW’s sophomore album,Sea of Cowards,comes out within a year of its debut record Horehound,and is as frenzied and groovy as it can get with bawdy tunes that hammer you like a heady cocktail. The vocal outbursts and guitar drones find perfect grooves,while the rhythmic fervour of fuzz bass,jolted drums and crash cymbals make the album a meaty musical treat.

Right from the vapourising synth intro that leads to the opening track “Blue blood blues”,the band throws out tunes that smoke through your head. Fluid piano by Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and roaring bass lines by Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes) come out to you in tracks like “Hustle and cuss” and “Die by the drop”. Vocalist/guitarist Alison Mosshart (The Kills) can be hysterically vocal as White himself; and the duo bombard their way through whisky-laced vocal spasms. “I’m mad” is an extraordinary celebration of bass and fret,while wallops and industrial wails define tracks like “I can’t hear you” and “Gasoline”. The mean grooves continue through the funky,distorted “No horse” that goes “I sit and watch my cigarette smoke on itself “,and a 007-style piano lick in “Old Mary”.

Sea of Cowards is an out-and-out alternate-rock ride.