Words by Dan Schaffel
The common man could sink his cold, hard teeth into any number of tracks on Blunderbuss – an album not only redefining the career of one of the 21st century’s premier alt-rock musicians, but one that has now blown the coffin top open on rock n roll’s long dead corpse and off its hinges for an immediate resurrection.
Starting with ‘Missing Pieces’, Mr. White leads us into his rabbit hole with a luring electric rock organ. Putting emphasis on space and patience, he blisters into a jam session that does not lack diversity nor completion. The next track kicks you square in the temple with the heel of his boot with ‘Sixteen Saltines’. While the title offers nothing more than some silly and playful alliteration, the opening strike of the electric distorted guitar gives you White Stripes deja vu.
With the gritty ‘Freedom at 21’, Jack shows Uncle Sam the middle finger as he lets loose on a new millennium Star Spangled Banner, containing a follow up synth solo we’ve all been waiting for since after the drop of Icky Thump. ‘Love Interruption’ depicts all of the many self-inflicting wounds he and co-vocalist Ruby Amanfu would go through for love, doing everything from getting stabbed in the gut to slamming his precious, guitar-sliding digits into doorways and murdering his own mother. It’s safe to say that Jackie Boy’s taking us deeper and deeper.
The climactic payoff on ‘Weep Themselves to Sleep’ rivals that of the end of the Who’s ‘Tommy’, while ‘Trash Tongue Talker’ boasts a Rolling Stones influence ridden to the legs of Exile on Main Street.
From start to finish, Blunderbuss finds Jack White emphasizing his new-found desire to craft fully produced music, and not needing to be dominated by his trademark instrument. It’s easy to see that the seventh son has a lot of ammo left in his tank, but more importantly, in regards to the flow of new material, let’s hope by no means he slows down.
Third Man Records
© April 24th, 2012
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