The White Stripes


The follow-up to White Blood Cells brings angst and punk power to a whole new level. It’s scorching. “Seven Nation Army,” which opens the album, starts with a sinister, bottom-register guitar line and then kicks into a driving beat and high-pitched, distorted vocals. It’s like the Velvet Underground on speed. “Black Math,” which follows, is a punk-rock rave à la the Sex Pistols. The sonic assault never lets up. The White Stripes are ex-mates or brother and sister, take your pick, with Jack White on guitar and vocals and Meg White on drums; she also sings a few tunes. Another gem is “Ball and Biscuit,” a sexy blues-rock number in the Led Zeppelin tradition. My favorite is “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine,” a cool, punk, drug-fueled rant on a take-a-pill-and-trip song like Lou Reed’s “Take a Walk on the Wild Side.” I hope this is their breakthrough. If it isn’t, America forgot how to rock.