Matthew Ford’s Infernal Blog

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Listening to Icky Thump

I am listening constantly to Icky Thump by the White Stripes while driving, usually with a huge grin on my face. I sort of fell out of love with the Stripes (albeit my crush on Meg remained) with their last album, whatever it was called. The one with Wild Orchid. Not my thing. Then I saw the video for the title track on this new album, and even though it still was not the sound I loved from their first albums (White Blood Cells and Elephant), it intrigued me a tiny bit, and then later when Kat and I saw the video from You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As You’re Told) it interested me a bit more. (Also of interest was the reminder that Kat has a crush on Jack, so that means we can cross-double-date, Jack and Meg, I know you read my blog.)

All the same, I was being curmudgeonly and still did not really intend to get the album. Then Kat surprised me with it after a shopping trip. I popped it into the car a few days later and I instantly loved it.┬áIt utterly crackles with an energy that a lot of bands are too cool to put into their work nowadays (the subtext often being, “I could hardly be bothered to get out of bed to record this but here I am”). This album thrills me the same way punk and 70′s power rock does. It’s unashamed, unafraid to be silly, unafraid of distortion and noise and bluesy mess. It’s playful and real. Not for everybody but I’m loving it and it reminds me that I am way overdue to get some Led Zeppelin into my collection.

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