Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother

The Kills, The White Stripes, The Raconteurs – all your favourites…


Ian Mathers: I really like Alison Mosshart but I kind of hate Jack White, and he’s no less annoying here than anywhere else. There are some good, weird moments (Baroque organ stomp! Meaningless but creepy lyrics!) but the whole thing is too disjointed — the structure of “Treat Me Like Your Mother” is a mess, and you wind up spending too much time with White and not nearly enough time with Mosshart.

Matt Cibula: Neither a hater of Jack White’s retro-futurism nor its biggest backer, I am always curious to see what he’s up to. But this seems to be the very point of diminishing returns, as this just sounds like the Off-White Stripes. In the Kills, Alison Mosshart punched her weight; here’s hoping she wants to go to there again someday.

Anthony Miccio: Pretty charming to hear Jack White play Mike Shinoda over serious distortion and clatter, but I wish his Chester Bennington wasn’t Alison from the Kills, a group whose only value appears to be looking good in black. Repeated listening makes the track seem less haphazard, but fails to increase its resonance.

Michaelangelo Matos: I don’t think Jack White is the most interesting dude of the ’00s or anything, but I’ve always admired him a lot and generally like his records fine; that’s how I feel about this one, at least until it turns into a bunch of chanting in the last minute, which isn’t as good as when they just sing.

Martin Kavka: A younger generation will see this as a full-bore return to the ethos of hard rock bands from the ’60s and ’70s. Those of us who grew up with those songs will correctly see this as a cold, calculated, pale imitation. Nice drumming, though.

Edward Okulicz: It’s not hard to appreciate the groove of this, as not that many straight-ahead Zep-aping underproduced rock music is this swaggering; well, for the first half, anyhow, after which the abrumpt dynamic change gives way to… well, a bit of repetition, and not a lot else. And the vocal melody is probably aiming for gritty, but is just the wrong side of ugly.

Jonathan Bradley: Grinding and swaggering in a deeply unfashionable way, reminiscent of nothing so much as the early days of grunge, and yet somehow it works — thrillingly. Grimy guitar squalls and classic rock howling haven’t sounded this great or this fresh in a long, long time; “Treat Me Like Your Mother” does an incredible amount to wipe away the memory of the plethora of straining, earnest balladeers keening over modern rock airwaves in the decade or so since Pearl Jam lost its relevance. But grunge, even at its best, rarely had this self-assurance or this rhythmic fluidity. Here, Jack White proves Meg isn’t even the best drummer in the White Stripes; I had almost forgotten how effortlessly rock songs can adopt funky rhythms, but this beat moves.

Chuck Eddy: “Tom Sawyer” via Zep-funk 16th notes and cowbell under bad-mama pseud-blooze vocal hysterics about (a husband?) missing curfew somehow too strained and/or cluttered to quite cut it. The expert rock groove loses something when Jack comes in to rhyme “straight” with “manipulate” — nonetheless a very rhythmic word as Rammellzee would surely tell you. Still more danceable than the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, as far as my feet can tell.

Additional Scores

Alex Ostroff: [2]
Martin Skidmore: [4]

2 Responses to “The Dead Weather – Treat Me Like Your Mother”

  1. This sounded excellent at Glastonbury with White kicking ass on drums and Alison Mosshart in fine form. Maybe it’s because I don’t go for this kind of thing very often (and lack proper Zep knowledge) but sounds like dirty sexy rock n’ roll done great to me. 8.

  2. Hrm, too muddy for me, much as there’s a good sense of drive and attack to it. It irritates me when rock seems to seek ugliness. 6, going up to a 7 when I haven’t washed yet.