• The White Stripe "White Blood Cells" Cassette
THIRD MAN RECORDS
With their unlikely but fascinating mix of arty concepts and raw sounds, the White Stripes were among the leaders of the early-2000s garage rock revival and helped define the sound of 21st century rock as the decade progressed. Jack and Meg White's clever use of limitations -- from their lineup to their instrumentation to their red, white, and black color scheme -- maximized their creativity, allowing them to bring a surprising number of facets to their seemingly back-to-basics approach. Meg's straight-ahead, minimalist drumming complemented Jack's freewheeling guitars and vocals perfectly, and their music touched on not only on obvious forebears such as the Gories and the Stooges, but also Son House and Blind Willie McTell's mythic blues, Led Zeppelin's riffs, the Gun Club's unhinged punk, and the timeless storytelling of country and folk legends such as Loretta Lynn and Bob Dylan.
Like its successor, White Blood Cells has a sense of unstoppable momentum, variety and most importantly, plenty of grinding, visceral grooves, none more striking than the opening "Dead Leaves And The Dirty Ground", which epitomises the singer’s wonderful rock ‘n’ roll whinny and economic way with words. White Blood Cells proceeds to reveal a megastore's worth of influences, from pre-war country blues to golden-age pop songcraft to radical reworkings of Captain Beefheart. Most importantly, blended together, the music sounds like rock 'n' roll.