Now that I have officially entered in my Ironman training with more of a dedicated focus on swimming, biking and running, these He-man evenings at the gym aren’t quite as necessary, nor will they always be possible given the wear n’ tear I’m exerting on my body on a more regular basis. However, I’m not quite ready to give them up all up right away. It is some time spent at a slower pace, with no focus other than get big, get muscly, get manly (insert masculine grunt of triumph here). Today, for example, I haven’t done any swimming, biking or running at all, so it’s pretty perfect for a little Me Time” with the heavy iron. To that effect, I’m continuing on with The White Stripes exploration I started a while ago and listening to the ‘Get Behind Me Satan‘ album.
This is the 5th studio release by the anemic duo, the Whites, released in 2005 on V2-Records. Though still basic in production style, the album marked a distinct change from its guitar-heavy 2003 predecessor, ‘Elephant‘. Here ‘ol Jackie plays with different techniques than in the past, trading in his electric guitar for piano, mandolin, and acoustic guitar on all but a handful of tracks, as his usual riff-conscious lead guitar style is overtaken by a predominantly rhythmic approach. In essence, down playing the punk, garage rock and blues influences that dominated the earlier albums. Doh!
Maybe I should have gone with something – you know – with more ‘ompf‘ for tonight’s He-man set.
Oh well, I’m in too deep now.
The album title refers to a well-known line from the story of the Temptation of Jesus which is later repeated against the disciples Simon and Peter, in Matthew 16:23 of the New Testament.
While I’m all for religious gospel music and spirituality in music generally, I prefer, well, more “cock in my rock” when I’m rocking the heavy iron.
However, it’s still pretty good. Still, while not overly “happy” per se, a little sting of venom appears to suit Jack well, and – perhaps as testament to his time spent with Loretta Lynn – ‘Satan’ finds him delivering his most expressive and nuanced vocal performances to date. Oddly, two of the album’s most jarring tracks are among the few to feature electric guitar. The opening ‘Blue Orchid‘ maintains the Stripes’ impressive streak of stellar singles, as Jack’s wild falsetto and processed, strangely electronic-sounding guitar combine for a heightened, spiteful crunch that’s unlike anything they’ve ever done. And even that sounds tame compared to the accusatory ‘Red Rain‘, on which the singer – his voice thick with quavering distortion– angrily confronts his betrayer (“If there’s a lie/ Then there’s a liar too/ And if there’s a sin/ Then there’s a sinner too”) with a spellbinding intensity, while a lurching floor of chiming toy bells and Hawaiian slide guitar spins beneath him. ‘My Doorbell‘ (no relation to Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding-a-ling‘…just sayin’) was likely my favorite though.
Okay, maybe it’s not the best suited or uber-manly thing I’ve listened to at the gym in recent months, nor is it even the best White Stripes I’ve checked out recently but, it is…interesting…disjointed…strange. What is definitely was though was better than the ‘Let It Go‘ that happened to come on the radio in the showers after the workout because, yeah, that shit ain’t weird when you’re a mere inches from bumping uglies with the other naked dudes beside you.