October 16, 2009
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Entertainment

The Dead Weather make strong debut; Arctic Monkeys disappoint

by Arman Serrado, staff writer

Best: The Dead Weather - Horehound

With The White Stripes and the Raconteurs under his belt, Jack White clearly felt the time was ripe for another side-project. With White on drums, the Kills’ Alison Mosshart on vocals, Queens of the Stone Age’s Dean Ferita on guitar, and fellow Raconteur Jack Lawrence on bass, The Dad Weather came into fruition.

It turns out to be a perfect collaboration. Throughout the album, Ferita’s biting guitar compliments Mosshart’s prowls and snarls perfectly, as White’s drums ooze with fervor. “Treat Me Like Your Mother” and “New Pony,” in particular, are fist-punching, head-bobbing tracks that are definite attention grabbers.

The album as a whole captures a fresh, distinct sound that sets it apart from White’s other bands. Its raw energy never wavers, and even in slower tracks like “60 Feet Tall,” a furor lies dormant, ready to explode at any given moment.

Most Disappointing: Arctic Monkeys - Humbug

Humbug is by no means the Arctic Monkeys’ best album (that honor still goes to their debut, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not), and frankly, it doesn’t really feel at all like an Arctic Monkeys album. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Josh Homme of desert rock icons Queens of the Stone Age co-produces the album. In fact, a lot of these tracks would fit snugly in with Queens of the Stone Age’s Rated R or Songs for the Deaf, as they seem to be channeling the same laidback, convertible-rolling-down-the-highway imagery that desert rock often provokes. Vocalist Alex Turner even employs rather uncharacteristically calm, hushed, Homme-esque vocals on some tracks, namely “My Propeller.”

But all this comes at the expense of their old, familiar sound: the chaotic explosions in “Brianstorm,” the foot-tapping bounce of “Mardy Bum,” and the snazziness of “Dancing Shoes.” “Pretty Visitors” seems to cater to the fans of this old sound, but otherwise, Humbug is a rather incongruous, inconsistent album that will probably leave some fans disappointed.

 
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