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appears on White Blood Cells (2001)
This week, I’m picking The White Stripes. That’s right; it’s called Rock Song of the Week, not Metal Song of the Week, and The White Stripes are many things, but they are unquestionably a Rock Band. What kind of rock is a bit harder to pin down; there are obvious blues rock elements, punk influences, garage rock overtones, and dirty, visceral guitar solos, and you could say all that about just one song. My choice for this week is Dead Leaves and the Dirty Ground, a simple rock song, raucous, gritty, and catchy. I don’t know how this thing gets stuck in my head as hard as it does, but it sticks in there like old gum.
I say simple because it’s just Jack and Meg, just drums, guitar, and vocals, but simple is too often conflated with bad, and this song’s anything but. It has a beautiful rise and fall, a push and pull that grabs you by the shirt collar and forces you to move, then relaxes its hold, letting you appreciate the melody for a moment before ripping you back into the song. The song’s only three minutes long, but it packs so much feeling into those minutes; in writing this, I basically ended up listening to it on repeat, and I wasn’t even mad.
The White Stripes are an American rock institution, and I hope you enjoy this week’s pick.
If you like what you hear, please consider purchasing via Bandcamp if the option is available as this is usually the best way to support the artist.
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