Album Review: The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards


The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards
The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards (Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Records)

Sea of Cowards is the new album from The Dead Weather. Jack White (The White Stripes, The Raconteurs), Alison Mosshart (The Kills), Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and Jack "Little Jack" Lawrence (The Raconteurs) are back with the blues-rock-driven follow-up to their debut, Horehound. The Dead Weather has a distinct sound, with Jack White's signature production stamped on it.

What exactly is The Dead Weather sound? It's a combination of fuzzed out, distorted guitars, that bluesy organ and Alison Mosshart's raw vocals. Highlights include the first single "Die by the Drop" with Mosshart and Jack White tag teaming on the vocals, "Blue Blood Blues" features the vocals of Jack White and sounds like it could have just as easily been a White Stripes song, and "Hustle and Cuss" is a cool, blues rock groove, penned by Mosshart and Lawrence.

The more I listen to Sea of Cowards, the more appreciation I gain for Jack White's label, Third Man Records. Third Man Records, to me, is like this generation's Sun Records or Stax Records. The label is turning out a particular sound and gaining a cool reputation. Jack White is reviving the idea of a label's catalog, 7-inch vinyl singles and exciting B-sides. You know, all that old fashion stuff that labels used to be all about.

There was a lot of build up and anticipation prior to the release of Sea of Cowards. It was available to stream on number of websites, lots of indie record stores held listening parties and the video for "Die by the Drop" was released. The video was directed by Floria Sigismondi. She's directed music videos for The White Stripes, Muse, Marilyn Manson, Interpol and is now more widely known as the director of The Runaways movie. Her trademark style is all over the "Die by the Drop" video, with the choppy, jumpy camera work and goth imagery (think Manson's "The Beautiful People" video).

Sea of Cowards is proof The Dead Weather isn't just a one off, "supergroup" side project of Jack White. They're a legitimate band, with a gritty, blues rock sound and we can probably expect to hear more from them in the future.