On single Connected By Love, Jack White explains tenderness as a crushingly powerful religion; the track is a sermon about forgiveness and being saved by devotion, with church organ and gospel back-ups pealing off the rafters – it’s a hugely powerful opener. So what else is White preaching from the Boarding House Reach pulpit?
Well, it’s more mad innovation from a man whose focus on experimentalism sometimes outdoes melodic coherence, but for those who subscribe to the good book of evolution, it’s a brilliant trip. With ideas like these – that are never muddied, but all stand together in weird accord like junk shop trinkets in a halo of thundering dust – you can’t not get in, loser. There’s the motley genius of Frank Zappa all over stand-outs Corporation (“I’m thinking about starting a corporation! That’s how you get adulation!”), Ice Station Zebra (thrashing piano, sudden hold-ups while we wait for jazzy little ramblings to cross the road like ducks) and Hypermisophoniac (which sounds like a whirring, honkytonk robot slowly looping into life).
Crackling with the broken brains of electric guitars and just oozing with acidic rhythms and easy grace, Boarding House Reach is gleeful aural sorcery from the Wizard White.
Boarding House Reach is out March 23 via Third Man Records/Sony.