- 06 Apr 18
Reach exceeds grasp.
In 2008’s It Might Get Loud documentary, Jack White tells The Edge and Jimmy Page how he uses “guitars that are a little bit bent and out of tune, I want to battle it, I want it to be a struggle.” Imagine a doctor, just for argument’s sake, adopting a similar approach, “Yes, I could have operated using the proper medical equipment, but I kept it real by going at you with this spoon”.
Sometimes the idea of Jack White – the Son House covering analogue blues nut, the vinyl fiend who, admirably, put the money up for the always interesting-at-least Third Man Records – has been better than the thing itself. He has always, whether it be as a White Stripe, a Raconteur, a Dead Weather, or a solo artist, produced a nifty line in singles, but he has tended to paint himself into a corner with those self-imposed restrictions. Boarding House Reach is his attempt to break out, with wildly varying results.
The single ‘Connected By Love’, an industrial pulse giving way to a storming, almost gospel chorus is a promising introduction. ‘Why Does A Dog?’, which follows, is a bit of a dirge but it’s at least recognisable as a song. ‘Corporation’ features prominent conga drums over snatches of White’s guitar, calling to mind the Incredible Bongo Band’s version of ‘Apache’, the cut that gave birth to a thousand hip-hop records, which is probably the point.