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Is Jack White About To Release The Album Of The Summer? New Track 'High Ball Stepper' Reviewed

By NME Blog

Posted on 01 Apr 14

Is Jack White About To Release The Album Of The Summer? New Track 'High Ball Stepper' Reviewed

Jack White announced a surprise new album, 'Lazaretto', today with an intriguing teaser track: 'High Ball Stepper'. Here's NME writer Leonie Cooper's first impression review of the song...

The first taster from Jack White’s second solo album ‘Lazaretto’ – due out June 9 - might have been released on April Fools Day, but ‘High Ball Stepper’ is no joke. An instrumental track it might be, but it’s easy to mistake the high-pitched, squealing riff that peppers the entire song with a human voice, so infused with personality as it is. Is it a synth, is it a solo, or could it actually be the sound of Jack White stubbing his toe into the door at his Third Man Records office and shrieking bloody murder, in a particularly melodic fashion?

Who knows and frankly, who the damn hell cares. There’s so much going on in this fabulous four minutes of furious, psychotropic blues that a vocal seems kind of unnecessary. What with the nonchalant piano breakdown, seemingly jetted in from the closing, jazzy credits of ‘Frasier’, the monster truck driving, gravel-pit digging guitars that thunder in at 1:15, and the Jimi Hendrix worthy space-skronk breakdown, sung lyrics would only serve to muddy these fast flowing, fiery waters.

Fuzzing and buzzing with all the energy of a man who simply cannot quit making awesome music – he’s now been putting out hits for 15 years – Jack White’s musical Midas Touch shows little to no signs of fading. Details on ‘Lazeretto’ are limited so far. ‘High Ball Stepper’ is not the first official single – that’s the LP’s title track, which will be revealed later this month. Tracks called ‘Alone In My Home’ and ‘Entitlement’ will also feature on the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Blunderbuss’ and if they’re half as majestic as today’s release, another monumental album is evidently about to make everyone’s summer a little bit more massive.


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