The Dead Weather’s debut album is a bit of a mixed bag

The Dead Weather
(Third Man)
The debut album of Jack White’s new supergroup— featuring members of The Kills, The Raconteurs and Queens Of The Stone Age—is a bit of a mixed bag. White’s duties take an uncharacteristic step away from the spotlight by (mostly) sticking with the drums while backing up singer Alison Mosshart. There’s plenty of swagger and bravado, and if nothing else White as a producer is a master of getting guitars to sound wickedly bestial, but the riffs miss just as often as they hit. The greasy high-plains groove of “60 feet tall” and oppressive grind of “New Pony” attack just right, while rote rockers like “Treat me like your Mother” and “I Cut Like a Buffalo” come across as an uncomfortable fit of Rage Against The Machine and Black Mountain. Bottom line, The high points of this album compare favorably to most of White Stripes’ catalog, but the low points reek of “disposable side project”

—Patrick Canning