Track Reviews

    ‘In One Ear’
    Cage the Elephant
    Jive Records/Red

    If you listen to alt-rock radio, you’ve heard Kentucky indie-rockers Cage the Elephant play their ridiculously catchy “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” And admit it: You totally sing along. “In One Ear,” a re-release of their pre-breakout single, looks like it will be just as popular — the track was clearly written with summer road trips in mind. With an embarrassing amount of attitude, lead singer Matt Shultz sprays his nasally voice over fast-paced, blues-tinged guitar riffs, as if Mick Jagger and Jack White got together to get loose on some G. Love rhymes. His lyrics are obviously anecdotal (“It goes in one ear and right out the other/ People talkin’ shit, they can kiss the back of my hand”), but the identifiable refrain about ignoring haters and doing what you love saves the track from overt egocentricity. 5/10

    — Gretchen Wegrich

    Staff Writer

    ‘Die By the Drop’
    Dead Weather
    Third Man

    Jack White is normally all about simplicity, but with supergroup Dead Weather, he’s proving his trademark riff-driven guitar style can work within a heavier and more complex format. One lone recurring piano note kicks off “Die By the Drop,” soon joined by White’s staccato riff to form a foot-tapping intro that’s busting with repressed energy. Alison Mosshart’s restrained vocals keep the track pent up for a few more verses before White’s roar explodes onto our speakers like a tsunami. A sweeping guitar hook leads us into a maniacal chorus while White and Mosshart pass the mic back and forth for a battle of personalities. The contrast is superb, and atop White’s addictive guitar work, the result is a heavier, grittier version of White Stripes fare. 6/10

    — Imran Manji

    Staff Writer

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