Posts Tagged ‘marla singer


Treefiddy Review: The Kills – Blood Pressures

Ok, so I’m a little late with this one (the album officially launched in April) and for awhile I wasn’t going to write a review because once an album is older than a month it’s old news to cool kids like us, but I’m making an exception this time around.



Which is the long way around of saying this album is fucking awesome.

The Down Lizzo:

Alison Mosshart pissed me off when I heard her sing in the Jack White-lead supergroup The Dead Weather because it felt like she was faking it. Her vocal style and stage persona seemed contrived, something between Marla Singer and PJ Harvey, and it never sat right with me.



Then I stumbled on The Kills latest album Blood Pressures and literally one minute into the first track I found myself grinning from ear because of how dark and cool Mosshart sounded. Like butter wouldn’t melt on her tongue, like she was everything sexy and dangerous in this world, like she could kill you with a look or break you with a smile.

The Kills is her band, her little broody-beautiful world that she shares with guitarist Jamie Hince and there’s something about the fuzz and the mud and the malevolence and the majesty of it all that haunted me and continues to haunt me with every listen.


Sick Tracks:

Pick one. Go ahead. Close your eyes, wave your finger around and literally let it fall where it may and whatever plays will be awesome.

“You Don’t Own The Road” saunters like a drunk cowboy waving his six shooter with the safety off, “DNA” stalks purposefully through the woods at dusk, picking its way through an undergrowth of drumsticks clattering against drumsticks whilst wading through a quagmire of swampy basslines.

“Baby Says” has the melancholy of a Cowboy Junkies track, a lilting melody to keep you company in the hollow hours before sunrise, a song that echoes back to better times.



But “Future Starts Slow” is still my favourite. Stark, defiant, sexy, it has a drum track that plays like a striptease and one of the simplest, most powerful riffs I’ve heard in a good long while.


Should You Give A Shit:

I loved this album, but what the hell do I know? I got a dark streak a mile wide that this album really speaks to but that doesn’t mean you’ll love it anywhere near as much as I do.

If nothing else, it’s a great example of how simple, stylised riffs (played with truckloads of badass fuzzy effects) layered with amazingly complex drums and sultry, provocative vocals can seduce you to the point of infatuation.

If you want to know what the music playing in the jungles of my Tiger-mind sounds like, get your hands on this album and if you’re anything like me, pretty soon it’ll be playing through the jungles of your mind too.

Here’s “DNA” to sink your fangs into.




Final Verdict: 9/10



Album Review: The Dead Weather – Sea Of Cowards

If Marla Singer from the movie Fight Club started a band, it would sound like The Dead Weather. They’re dark, edgy and angry and with their second album they’ve perfected their particular brand of radio-unfriendly blues / tripped-out reggae / 70s rock and infused it with enough wailing feedback, weird synth effects and creepy organs to bring the last acid trip you had flashing back hard and fast.



Their previous effort, 2009’s Horehound did very little to impress. Musically, it sounded like everyone on the album was pulling in different directions, a common short-coming suffered by supergroups. The songs were loose and rushed and whatever inroads they made with regard to originality and style were overshadowed completely by singer Alison Mosshart’s toneless wailing and the disjointed, hookless attempts at songwriting that defined a lot of tracks on the album.

The biggest draw-card that Horehound had was the fact that Jack White (of The White Stripes and The Raconteurs) was in the band, but even that didn’t impress too much. ‘Oh, another Jack White side-project? Meh’ seemed to be the general consensus.

Fast forward to ten months later and The Dead Weather’s second album is already on shelves and who knows what the hell happened in those ten months but the band has come back tighter, meaner and better than ever.

Interestingly, in a recent interview, Jack White explained that the title Sea Of Cowards is a direct reference to the hordes of anonymous trolls on the internet that ‘spit venom and attack people in a cowardly way using fake names.’ Dorky? Yeah, a little, but trust me, the album is anything but.



This time around, Mosshart has found a happy medium between the aforementioned ‘toneless wailing’ and the throaty whispering that she’s prone to and I was pleasantly surprised to find that on Sea Of Cowards I didn’t feel like my ear drums were being scraped with industrial-grade sandpaper every time she belted a chorous out.

Although to be fair, Jack White does sing a lot more on Sea Of Cowards than he did on Horehound, which is definitely what the latter album was sorely lacking. The man has also upped his game considerably in terms of loading the tracks on Sea Of Cowards full of sick, bluesy, distorted guitar riffs and hooks that bite hard and don’t let go.

The first single, “Die By The Drop” is definitely not the finest example of what this album has to offer, the chorous is a mess, but the vocal dynamic between Mosshart and White during the verse works well and the lyrics “Let’s dig a hole in the sand brother / A little grave we can fill together… Some people die just a little / Sometimes you die by the drop / Some people die in the middle / I live just fine at the top” are catchy as TB and guaranteed to get your inner air drummer jamming.

The best track on the album is the instantly likeable “The Difference Between Us”. If you’re thinking of buying this album, listen to this track and if it doesn’t grab you, steer clear of Sea Of Cowards and go check out the new Michael Buble album, I hear it’s a huge hit with mindless drones the world over.



“The Difference Between Us” rises like a dark phoenix from a distorted guitar / synth melody that is perfectly accentuated by either White or Jack Lawrence, both of whom are credited as drummers on the album.

Fucking superbands. Swapping instruments like wives at a swinger’s party. You gotta love that shit.

“No Horse” moves with the sexy confidence of a gunslinger in a fist fight and has a bassline that will make you grin from ear to ear it’s so badass, not to mention the grungey, wailing guitar riffs that White bends and grinds out like a maniac.

The last track on the album, “Old Mary” will confirm any suspicions that this band is seriously twisted. The quiet, church-organ chords that haunt this track make a fitting backdrop to White’s lyrics, which are a twisted bastardisation of the Hail Mary: “Old Mary full of grease / Your heart stops within you / Scary are the fruits of your tomb / And harsh are the terms of your sentence…”



It’s an album that feels like it died in the Old West (thanks to the awesome melodies ex-Queens Of The Stone Age guitarist, organist, pianist and bassist Dean Fertita brings to the mix) and was revived sometime in the 70s in a drug-fuelled séance. It’s sexy, it’s deadly and it’s hell-bent on breaking all the rules.

The Dead Weather have done a fine job of carving out a sound that is unlike any band you’ve ever heard, and with Sea Of Cowards they’ve fine-tuned that sound into a far more listenable and coherent whole and proved without a doubt that they aren’t here to fuck around.

Try this album on for size, see where it takes you and who knows, when you get there, you might just thank me 😉

Final Verdict: 8/10


A Word From The Kind Folks At Nokia

July 2020