By now The Dead Weather have their song writing style (based around call/responses, fuzz heavy riffs and grimy sexy grooves) down cold. That engaging interplay keeps blazing along on the band’s third offering Dodge and Burn which is a clear a continuation of their style, while also excitingly flirting with an expansion of their sound.
Fitting snugly into the band’s sweaty dark dive bar aesthetic are tracks like the warbling “Buzzkill(er)” and “Lose The Right”’s pumping organ and crisp smashing cymbals. “Be Still” with its S&M groove along with “Cop and Go”’s brain drilling piano, scream classic Dead Weather and yet still sounds immediately relevant.
When things get ratcheted up, the results are more exhilarating as seen on the slamming opener “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles)” and “Mile Markers”. Both are injected with gutsy lead vocalist Alison Mosshart’s expansive desert traveling imagery juxtaposed with a searching sense of a vulnerable love song… a love tune that just so happens to be dotted by cigarette holes intentionally burned through it. The instrumentation gets a kick in the pants for each as the opener screams along with Dean Fertita’s guitars while “Mile Markers” contains some of the best drum work from Jack White on this album.
Experimentations creep up on “Rough Detective” as genre’s get whirled together, while “Open Up” feels different because of its classic rock performance and shooting for grandiose. “Let Me Through” possesses a new wave undercurrent, driven by Jack Lawrence’s fuzz bass (perfect for late night bad decisions) while “Three Dollar Hat” fuses hip-hop, the blues, industrial metal and horror movie creepiness.
The biggest outlier is saved for the closer though as Mosshart presents her first individually credited Dead Weather tune in the form of “Impossible Winner”. The piano driven straight ahead pop number owes more to Adele and “Rolling In The Deep” then to any rocker. While a bit jarring when paired with the rest of Dodge and Burn, taken on its own it is extremely successful, showcasing Mosshart in a strong new light. Ending on this unique number indicates the band is more democratic and forward looking than ever.
With Horehound, The Dead Weather introduced their leather clad 3am smokey style to the world. Things were then honed into silver bullet precision with Sea of Cowards firing as a cohesive screed against the offending masses. Dodge and Burn feels more searching yet still swaggeringly confident and dangerous, as all great rock and roll should.