The jury’s still out on the Dead Weather

Given the declining quality of Jack White’s many releases, the Dead Weather feels a bit like a make-or-break type project. Reactions to the group’s live shows have generally positive, so there’s reason to be optimistic about the quartet’s debut album, Horehound, which will be released on July 14.

The group released its second single, “Treat Me Like Your Mother,” yesterday via Jack’s own Third Man Records. Today, the song was released online as a free download (newsletter signup required). The tune doesn’t really settle my ambivalence towards the project. It features plenty of fuzzed-out garage rock riffing, with shrieking vocal trade-offs between White and bandmate Allison Mosshart (lead singer of the Kills). It’s got a complex structure, with plenty of tempo changes and no clear chorus. This makes it a challenging and unpredictable listen, but its restless structure feels a bit like a case of too few ideas, rather than too many; none of the sections are good enough to merit repetition, so the group has no choice but to change directions every 30 seconds.

The jury’s still out until Horehound hits the shelves (or, more likely, until it hits the internet sometime before). Click here to download “Treat Me Like Your Mother.”
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