The Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards


The Dead Weather
Sea of Cowards
(Third Man Records)

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The Dead Weather gives heavier reverb and bass on their second album Sea of Cowards (a reference to anonymous critics on the internet). Personally, I was largely unimpressed by this offering. Alison Mosshart’s vocals and the track compositions continually reminded me of The Duke Spirit, which puts out similar music but of higher quality.

Many tracks have a disjointed sensibility, with random electronic blips, jarring tempo changes, and screechy lyrics. A few of the songs seem like clones, save for the random guitar twangs that Jack White offers on each. It strikes me that The Dead Weather put out this album almost a year to the day after their first single dropped and it feels as if they may have rushed the process.

Still, there are some bright points amongst the songs that can’t decide if they’re Space Rock or not. The first track on the album, “Blue Blood Blues,” is a bangin’ track that is bluesy and heavy on the guitar/bass. It showcases Jack White’s vocals very well and I just loved the tinkling piano riff at the end. Conceptually I enjoyed how a few of the songs carried over into one another, like some rocking jam, but unfortunately the second songs in both sets are weaker, which makes the whole a bit unfulfilling. The last track, “Old Mary,” is also among the stronger offerings. It’s no surprise that the eerie spoken word on it is done by Jack White, backed by grooving piano. I felt like this prolific guitarist/song writer really needs to do us all a favor and get back in front of the mic. In the end, Sea of Cowards wasn’t my cup of tea, but perhaps if you’re a huge fan of The Dead Weather it’s for you.

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