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White Stripes

The White Stripes

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Album Review

Minimal to the point of sounding monumental, this Detroit guitar-drums-voice duo makes the most of its aesthetic choices and the spaces between riffage and the big beat. In fact, the White Stripes sound like arena rock as hand-crafted in the attic. Singer/guitarist Jack White's voice is a singular, evocative combination of punk, metal, blues, and backwoods while his guitar work is grand and banging with just enough lyrical touches of slide and subtle solo work to let you know he means to use the metal-blues riff collisions just so. Drummer Meg White balances out the fretwork and the fretting with methodical, spare, and booming cymbal, bass drum, and snare cracks. In a word, economy (and that goes for both of the players). The Whites' choice of covers is inspired, too. J. White's voice is equally suited to the task of tackling both the desperation of Robert Johnson's "Stop Breakin' Down" and the loneliness of Bob Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee." Neither are equal to the originals, but they take a distinctive, haunting spin around the turntable nevertheless. All D.I.Y. punk-country-blues-metal singer/songwriter duos should sound this good. [The Japan-only edition of White Stripes includes the bonus tracks "Let's Shake Hands" and "Lafayette Blues."]

Biography

Formed: 1997 in Detroit, MI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The White Stripes formed on Bastille Day in 1997, aiming to create simple, vigorous rock & roll with little more than Meg White's percussion and Jack White's guitar-and-vocal attack. Meg's drumming was deliberate and straightforward, while Jack's formidable guitar skills paid homage to garage rock, blues, and punk. A former drummer for the Detroit-based country outfit Goober & the Peas, he also displayed an affinity for American folk music, and the White Stripes took strength in the varied...
Full bio