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White Stripes | White Blood Cells | review | rock | Lollipop

White Stripes

White Blood Cells (Sympathy For The Record Industry)
by Jon Sarre

I pretty much wrote these national media darlin's off as one trick hucksters akin to mebbe Beastie Boys, who altho' they can write some decent songs, just weren't equal to alla the hype that gets spat out, like chalk this whole thing up to the cluelessness most people display 'less they're confronted with an IMAGE they can hang their hat on (which makes Jack White much more savvy than most of his peers, that I can say with some confidence). On the other hand, this band is bustin' out on Sympathy For the Record Industry, and when was the last time that happened? Uh, unless ya wanna count Red Aunts or Clawhammer. Joe Mall Rat's probably never heard of those guys, or ask the fucking New York Times' Anne Powers or an entertainment critic at Time and you'll get nada blips of recognition. Besides, the two bands hadta move over to Epitaph before anyone gave a shit, so okay, the answer is never, never! All that aside, my pre-conceived notions developed from apathetic listenings of the first two White Stripes records were fucking blown to smithereens when I saw 'em live and yeah, they are that good, fucking tight with a je ne sais quoi that makes ya wish for 'em to be stars. Everything ya heard is true and, man, I was floored (almost literally cuz some guy punched me in the face, but that was a misunderstanding for another day).

Sure, Jack and Meg White (whether they are actually brother and sister or once married or still married or just good friends is a subject I don't wanna delve into, cuz I've heard all four things from different people) are plunderers of the old rock'n'roll archives and are basically reconstitutin' '50s blues, '60s garage, and '70s arena rock, but they figure out the right stuff to steal (good ole fashioned white trash rock'n'roll sayeth Von Vemmer, or mebbe it was the Doctor, I can't remember), plus, like I said before, they can write a fucking song which don't come off as instantly retro, like not exactly Iggy or Bo Diddley or Lyres or Black Flag or whomever. They can do sap (the puppy lovey-dovey "We're Going to Be Friends") and rock out like alloy-lovin' lunkheads ("Aluminum"), or do both in the same damn song (pick one out, they pretty much all alternate big, menancin' power chordage with cute kissy-face lyricality). Plus, as my friend Howard pointed out with nary a hint of irony, "you can buy it at the mall!"

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