Jack White, “Sixteen Saltines”
If you don’t have a pair of boots to rip on and smash in a car window, get some. Because from the very first power chord that punches into your brain, it’s all on for young and old.
The second single from his forthcoming solo debut, Blunderbuss (to be released on 23 April), this is a return to the salty, ragged rock that he’s best at.
Cranking electric guitar, shrouded in reverb opens it all. It’s garage rock to the extreme, White’s vocals twisted and doubled up. Result: it’s a shouting ode to punk days past.
The drums are heavy on the cymbals, the organ and guitar thump along. It’s smokey and rough but held together by the heavy pulse. As in all Jack White’s songs, influences are aplenty here: The Ramones particularly. The spectre of Meg White also lingers on through the drums. There’s a sharp blues tinge to this as well, but really this is just rock…the way it’s supposed to be.
White’s vocals are intriguing, they swirl around the melody, chopping and changing- but constantly screaming, they never let up.
There are some really, REALLY cool parts to this song. Note the chorus about 50 seconds in. The organ and guitar hammer out a thick riff, whilst White wails his vocals up and down the register. It’s not long though, until we’re dragged back in to the the chaos that is the verse.
The outro throws up a standard guitar breakdown and solo. It screeches up into the top notes over the swelling backing and White’s falsetto harmonies.
Watch out for the album, people. It’s going to be good.