Review

The Raconteurs are back after a decade, with roguish rock ‘n’ roll at the helm of Help Us Stranger

“If you call me/I’ll come running,” Jack White spits with rapid fire enthusiasm as the vocals drop with a vengeance on “Help Me Stranger”.

Its the kind of drop which sums up the entire album in a couple of bars.

Polka-dot synth meets multi-textured and constantly inventive riffage: the forerunner of the offering we have waited 11 years for – and Jack White and Brandan Bensen share the limelight with easy paring.

The band is reassembled and invigourated. What might have once been considered as an alternative outlet for The White Stripes’ frontman has long ago become a brimming monster of its own – and their return to the scene is evidence of just that.

The album picks across the ever-loved rock ‘n’ roll genre with the sort of drive and drift of two experimentalists in a box of familiar playthings.

The throaty vocals and rollicking pace of “Board and Razed” ease back just enough for a classic injection which is as welcome as it is tastily familiar.

“Don’t Bother Me” spits surprising anger at the social media generation, “Someday (I Don’t Feel Like Trying)” suddenly turns heel towards homely country soul – while “Thursday’s Gone” harks firmly back to the ’70’s with a Beatles-esque break.

And while perhaps their decade-long absence didn’t quite leave a gaping hole, their return to the scene fills it multi-fold regardless.

Help Me Stranger is out this Friday.