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That Jack White chose to introduce Sea of Cowards to the world with a camera pointed at a record player is no accident. The group’s sophomore effort is meant to be seen as a cohesive front-to-back experience. Every single particle was tracked and organized to be a long-player event. Unlike 2009’s Horehound with its torrential bluesy, sexual sludge, Sea of Cowards is a more curious, involved, evolved situation. And at just 35 minutes, the record is quick and dirty, and full of the quartet’s now-patented penchant to wrestle down points of light into a flooded plane of sweat and quicksand. That’s right – Sea of Cowards, like its predecessor, wears its cloak in many shades of black, all leveraged upon singer Alison Mosshart’s increasingly cocksure growls, howls and purrs. It walks the hallowed and oft-labored line of deep and exploratory dirges, psychedelic purges and elusive urges. The results, while surprising, are a satisfying blend of high-octane, psycho blues with traces of early Sabbath and Hendrix. Think Electric Lady at 3 o’clock in the morning.

Lead single “Die By the Drop” is a darkly sexual, edgy fever dream by soulfully tortured people with nothing to lose, paving the way for other notable cuts such as the full-tilt Dean Fertita guitar assault of “Blue Blood Blues,” the pomp and romp of “Hustle and Cuss,” the strange, surreal detours of “I’m Mad” and “No Horse,” and the slinky-nasty grooves of “I Can’t Hear You” and “Gasoline.” Mosshart, as she further embraces a ruthless Grace Slick meets Janis Joplin flair for scene-chewing melodrama, is the album’s MVP. Gentlemen, guard your steed.

Trippy and masculine, Sea of Cowards is frequently riveting with grimy, pent-up desires and enough get-bent attitude and swagger to earn them their stripes. Some people ride the lightning; Dead Weather prefers to ride the thunder. Better crack a window. (Third Man/Warner Bros.) –Carrie Alison

 
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  2. [...] The good people at TeamCoco.com have just premiered the living Banksy-esque video for “Blue Blood Blues,” the new single off of Dead Weather’s excellent sophomore album, Sea of Cowards. [...]

  3. [...] Raconteurs/Greenhornes’ Jack Lawrence) brought the thunder on the “trippy and masculine” Sea of Cowards with nasty licks and a lethally potent carnal tumult of psychedelic blues. Lead single “Die By [...]

  4. [...] barred riffs of Dead Weather hits such as Horehound’s “Treat Me Like Your Mother,” and Sea of Cowards’ phenomenal “Blue Blood Blues” and “Die By the Drop.” What was once a secret is now [...]