White Stripes - Back To The Future

Jack White - Gtr, Piano & Vox Meg White - Drums

Meg & Jack White have the look; it's red, it's white, it's combinations of the two - it's minimalistic, much like their music - less is way past more.

"White Blood Cells", their 3rd lp, confirms all the early promise. Don't think Jon Spencer meets Beck as lesser scribes may have conned you, leave the thinking to us. White Stripes sound like White Stripes - what goes around comes around - retro is the future & the future is retro.

Signed to one of the most integrity laden labels on the planet, Sympathy For The Record Industry, these siblings rival any pop thrill legally available presently.

White Stripes debuted in 1999 with their self titled 1st lp, including covers of "St James Infirmary" & Dylan's "One More Cup Of Coffee", & a batch of hard to find 7" releases destined to change hands for vastly inflated prices over the ensuing months. The duo's minimalistic gtr, vox & drums attack struck an immediate chord. With a voice reminiscent of Black Francis doing an impression of a young Macca (on amphetamine) & a gtr style that recalls Kobain as much as ancient delta bluesmen, Jack White draws a fine line in the sand for any young pretenders to aim at. Being lyrically acute whilst remaining vaguely humorous is a difficult act to pull off - Jack succeeds like a £10 a gobble blow job queen & is never short of punters.

Last year's "De Stijl" saw the blueprint improved & honed - more tunes, less blues & just a hint of a pop sensibility. The lp's opening cut, "Pretty Good Looking (for a girl)", set the scene for one of 2000's brightest, spunkiest & downright addictive lp's of the year.

The buzz surrounding "White Blood Cells" has been circulating quicker than the 3 track promo's being illegally sold @ ridiculous prices by corrupt industry types. 16 cuts @ just over 40 minutes running time, this is an lp to savour. I guess if I was in Starsailor & my A&R guy played me a copy of this I'd give up immediately - or go and join Witness instead - which is tantamount to the same thing anyway, I guess.

"White Blood Cells" is White Stripes harshest statement yet. You get partial Sabbath riffs, urban hillbilly, Stooges intensity, shit hot beats & feedback - ooh, & some of the strongest songs this side of The Strokes.

They hit these shores later this year & you are strongly advised to move mountains to get there. In the meantime, if all you've got inside is vacancy & you're in need of substance then just follow these simple instructions;

1-2-3-4 take the elevator - we'll see you there.

William Hicks


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