After mentioning Brendan Benson's association with Jack White the other night, it's kind of fitting that I stumbled over the fruits of their labor a few minutes ago. Jack + Brendan = The Ranconteurs, and the results are, well, mixed.
First of all, the site is a hoot. I won't spoil the surprise, just check it out. Unfortunately, the music isn't quite as compelling. Two tracks are streaming at the site, "Steady, As She Goes" and "Store Bought Bones". The former features White on vocals, and the bassline is stolen from Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him". It's a decent track, even if the last minute or so is White singing "steady as she goes" ad infinitum. It doesn't sound that radically different than a White Stripes track. The latter, though, sounded like a disaster to me. This one has Benson on vocals, but it sounds like bad 70s prog rock, nothing like the brilliant power pop we've all come to enjoy from him. I guess you could say it's the aural equivalent of the site.
These two tracks have been released in the last couple of weeks as a double-sided vinyl 7" single in the UK, and apparently a full-length is due out this summer. After hearing these two tracks, it's not quite the slam-dunk no-thoughts buy I figured it to be when I first heard of the project.