‘Dodge and Burn’ is retro rock at its best from the Dead Weather

Dodge and Burn

The Dead Weather, “Dodge and Burn” (Third Man Records)

It’s easy to identify ’70s antecedents with the Dead Weather, and we’re not talking about the Grateful Dead or Weather Report. “Dodge and Burn” is full of Led Zeppelin guitar work by Dean Fertita, but the riff references also range from Television (“Buzzkill(er)”) to ELP (“Lose the Right”).

And on its third album, the supergroup reaches back even farther for inspiration. Alison Mosshart’s vocals marinate in more reverb than early Elvis, and Jack White’s murder tale “Three Dollar Hat” sounds like an 80-year-old track from Harry Smith’s folk anthology, minus the gramophone crackle.

In this case, retro rocks. White produced, and his typically sparse arrangements give each note that much more punch, while his drumming provides plenty of propulsion.

Mosshart sings about negative feedback, grinding her teeth and going back to bed. She dials down her delivery with lovely singing on the closing ballad “Impossible Winner,” a testament to staying power. Its potential sports arena fodder, an odd prospect for a band that does best when it has the blues.

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