Sea of Cowards

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Sea of Cowards
TDW SeaOfCowards cover.jpg
Studio album by The Dead Weather
Released May 11, 2010 (2010-05-11)
Recorded December 2009; Third Man Studio
Nashville, Tennessee
Length 35:12
Label Warner Bros./Third Man
Producer Jack White
The Dead Weather chronology
Sea of Cowards
Dodge and Burn
Singles from Sea of Cowards
  1. "Die By The Drop"
    Released: March 30, 2010
  2. "Blue Blood Blues"
    Released: June 23, 2010
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 70/100[3]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[4]
BLARE Magazine 4/5 stars[5]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[6]
L.A. Times 3/4 stars[7]
NME 8/10 stars[8]
Pitchfork Media (7.8/10)[1]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[10]
Spin 4/5 stars[11]

Sea of Cowards is the second studio album by the American alternative rock band The Dead Weather. It was first released on May 7 in Ireland, then on May 11, 2010, in the U.S. and May 10 in the United Kingdom.

The album was streamed on the band's website, via continuous vinyl playback, for a period of 24 hours from April 30 to May 1. It was subsequently available for streaming on various media streaming websites such as National Public Radio and KCRW. This album was number 11 on Rolling Stone's list of the 30 Best Albums of 2010.[12]

Background and release[edit]

In 2009, the group worked on 15 songs over three days at White's Nashville studio, Third Man Records.[13] They reconvened at the studio in December, and recorded the album in three weeks.[13] The vinyl LP version was pressed at United Record Pressing in Nashville, Tennessee.[14]

On May 3, before the album's release, the band played a special show at White's Third Man Records where Sea Of Cowards was played in its entirety. The show was streamed on MySpace and subsequently appeared on the band's YouTube channel.[15] The performance was released on 12" vinyl through the Third Man Records' Vault subscription service, recorded live to analog tape and pressed directly to vinyl. This is in contrast to the controversial mastering process of the original album.[16]


According to Billboard magazine, "the grinding blues that drives tracks like 'Hustle and Cuss' and 'Gasoline' take the Dead Weather to a new level of intensity."[13] Brisbane periodical mX identified the song as "a grimy road trip through voodoo blues, garage rock and even metal."[17]

In interview with The Sun, White said that "the album title refers to the way the internet allows people to spit venom and knock people in a cowardly way using fake names. It seems to me that people aren't teaching this generation anything about responsibility. The internet allows people to make a statement that the whole world can read and listen to-but they're too much of a coward to leave their actual name."[18]



Sea of Cowards received generally favorable reviews, ratings with Metacritic rating of "70." Giving the album a B+, Entertainment Weekly said it was "35 minutes of furious guitar solos and demonic howls."[6] Spin magazine gave the work eight out of ten stars, and said that Mosshart and White "harness this icy alpha-dog tension into a distorted call-and-response aggression that's now greater than its parts, a rudely heavy swath of rock'n'roll authority."[11] Pitchfork rated Sea of Cowards at 7.8 (out of ten), noting that "it's a heavy, snarly, physical rock album, and it feels like the work of people so secure in their ass-kicking abilities that they don't have to sweat the details."[1] Blare magazine remarked that the album "combines the group’s sinister attitude with dreary funk and sex appeal."[5]


The album debuted on Billboard 200 at No. 5,[19] and No. 3 on Top Rock Albums.[20] It has sold 171,000 copies in the US as of September 2015.[21]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Blue Blood Blues"   Fertita/Lawrence/White 3:22
2. "Hustle and Cuss"   Lawrence/Mosshart 3:45
3. "The Difference Between Us"   Mosshart/White 3:37
4. "I'm Mad"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart/White 3:16
5. "Die by the Drop"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart 3:29
6. "I Can't Hear You"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart/White 3:35
7. "Gasoline"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart/White 2:44
8. "No Horse"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart/White 2:49
9. "Looking at the Invisible Man"   Fertita/White 2:42
10. "Jawbreaker"   Fertita/Lawrence/Mosshart 2:58
11. "Old Mary"   White 2:53

There are also two additional "bonus" songs pressed on the label of Sea of Cowards vinyl.[3]


Appearances in the media[edit]

The album's opening song, "Blue Blood Blues", was featured in the final episode of Season Two of the HBO comedy Eastbound & Down in 2010. The album's song "I Can't Hear You" was featured in the movie Crazy, Stupid, Love and is a playable song in the guitar-themed video game Rocksmith.


Chart (2010) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[22] 28
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 24
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 27
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[25] 51
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[26] 6
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[27] 27
French Albums (SNEP)[28] 30
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[29] 47
Greek Albums (IFPI)[30] 18
Irish Albums (IRMA)[31] 55
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[32] 76
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[33] 11
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[34] 19
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[35] 13
UK Albums (OCC)[36] 32
US Billboard 200[37] 5
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[38] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[39] 3
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[40] 1


  1. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (May 11, 2010), "The Dead Weather - Sea of Cowards". Pitchfork. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  2. ^ Hahn, Michael (May 6, 2010). "The Dead Weather: Sea of Cowards". The Guardian. Retrieved July 22, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Reviews for Sea of Cowards by The Dead Weather". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. May 11, 2010. Retrieved 2015-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Allmusic review". 
  5. ^ a b Blare staff (May 10, 2010), "ALBUM REVIEWS – 10/5/10". Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Vozick-Levinson, Simon (May 5, 2010), "Sea of Cowards (2010)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  7. ^ "L.A. Times review". Los Angeles Times. May 10, 2010. 
  8. ^ "NME review". 
  9. ^ "Rolling Stone review". 
  10. ^ "Slant review". 
  11. ^ a b Anderson, Stacey (May 24, 2010), "The Dead Weather, 'Sea of Cowards' (Third Man/Warner Bros.)". Spin. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  12. ^ "The 30 Best Albums of 2010". Rolling Stone (December 25, 2010). Retrieved (January 18, 2011)]
  13. ^ a b c Nagy, Evie (May 15, 2010), "Sea of Cowards." Billboard. 122 (19):32
  14. ^ United Record Pressing staff (May 12, 2010), "Dead Weather - Sea Of Cowards - Split Color!!!". Facebook. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ Read, Michelle et al. (May 06, 2010), "SPINNING AROUND". mX Brisbane :21
  18. ^ Songfacts staff (2010), "Die By The Drop by the Dead Weather Songfacts". Songfacts. Retrieved November 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Billboard 200". Billboard. May 29, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Top Rock Albums". Billboard. May 29, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Upcoming Releases". Hits Daily Double. HITS Digital Ventures. Archived from the original on September 17, 2015. 
  22. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  23. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards" (in German). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards" (in French). Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "The Dead Weather – Chart history" Billboard Canadian Albums Chart for The Dead Weather.
  27. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  29. ^ " – Top 100 Longplay". GfK Entertainment Charts.
  30. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  31. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 19, 2010". Chart-Track. IRMA.
  32. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  33. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  34. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  35. ^ " – The Dead Weather – Sea of Cowards". Hung Medien.
  36. ^ "Dead Weather | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart
  37. ^ "The Dead Weather – Chart history" Billboard 200 for The Dead Weather.
  38. ^ "The Dead Weather – Chart history" Billboard Top Alternative Albums for The Dead Weather.
  39. ^ "The Dead Weather – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for The Dead Weather.
  40. ^ "The Dead Weather – Chart history" Billboard Top Tastemaker Albums for The Dead Weather.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]