After a decade spent fashioning the landscape of modern rock ‘n’ roll, maestro Jack White has returned to inflict yet more badassery on the general public. Having appeared in numerous successful outfits — The Dead Weather, The Raconteurs and, most famously, The White Stripes — this time, he has come to tear things up on his own, bringing copious twang and heavy blues. Showcasing White’s vast talents, from his phenomenal songwriting to his fierce guitar solos, Blunderbuss is a sharp shooting and hugely satisfying album.
Littered with filthy riffs and explosive singing, the record sinks its teeth into the listener and refuses to let go. Songs like “Trash Tongue Talker” and “Sixteen Saltines” are loud and deranged, with White’s vocals spitting fire through the speakers. White displays an uncanny ability to sound inordinately dangerous while singing the most unremarkable lyrics. When he screeches: “I eat sixteen saltine crackers then I lick my fingers,” it almost sounds like a threat. His music slaps the listener about, and the listener likes it. It’s hard to say no to White’s commanding presence corrupting, disrupting and taking control.
Nonetheless, Blunderbuss is not all hard-hitting, distorted rock. There are a few quieter, more stable tracks with a purer blues sound. These provide the record with much needed balance. Lead single “Love Interruption” is an ironic blues love song, with a pleasant acoustic arrangement and a strange yet intriguing melody. Meanwhile, “I Guess I Should Go to Sleep” bears a wonderful country-like groove, a testament to White’s limitless musical capabilities.
Despite being White’s solo debut, there was never any doubt that Blunderbuss would be a top-notch album; the man is simply one of the best musicians around. A truly special collection of tunes, this record solidifies his status as a modern day legend.