Single Review: Jack White ‘High Ball Stepper’

While everyone was busy pulling pranks on their friends, Jack White was surely no fool and had no time to waste horsing around. He has been delighting guitar music aficionados for over a decade and finally on the 1st of April, he revealed the first track of his upcoming LP warming up the audience for the release of his second solo album, Lazaretto on 9th June.

Jack is back. ‘High Ball Stepper’ is an outstanding instrumental piece and with a song like this who really needs lyrics? It’s 3 minutes and 45 seconds of pure electricity and ecstasy. The opening of the track feels like time and space going backwards resembling the incipit of ‘Blue Veins’ by The Raconteurs, another marvelous musical project endowed with Jack White’s signature. A pseudo-human electric voice is later introduced, taking us to the heart of the song. The piano interval at 1:51 builds up the tension for a blasting guitar riff to erupt. That’s the time to take it all in.

The more I listen to the track the more bizarre and freakish things pop up in my head. While immersed in the final part of the song I imagined myself sitting on a dentist chair with some crazy scientist inserting a cable in my head and being catapulted into a surreal dimension with my eyes wide open and pupils dilated, experiencing a seemingly unstoppable series of photograms going at a ridiculous speed. You might think I was tripping, but I assure you I wasn’t under the influence of any hallucinogen.

The best way I can express the effect that this track has on me is to use the man in question himself and quote White’s cover of ‘I’m Shakin’’ from his previous solo album, Blunderbuss. I could write the lyrics in their entirety but all I want to say is Mr. White, “Oh, you got me shakin’ I’m so jittery/ that’s right, you got me shakin’”.

Jack White is one of those artists who can go to unthinkable and extraordinary places with their guitar and if you are willing to follow him you are in for a treat. If this is only a tiny appetizer I can’t imagine what the whole meal is going to be like. This song is like a big fat plate of spaghetti bolognese after weeks of dieting. He got me hooked with just one track and surely his fans – me included –will be queuing up for more. 9th June seems so far away, but in the meantime you can have this amazing tune on repeat, I definitely will.

Image: Teresa Sedo.
Image: Teresa Sedo.

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