Dean Fertita is a workhorse; a mainstay of the Detroit underground scene since the early-Nineties. From his years of relentless touring as front-man of the criminally under appreciated Waxwings, to his able-bodied accompaniment to friend/cohort Brendan Benson, Fertita has been laying the groundwork for his current prominence.
And as if that isn’t enough, Fertita was also the invaluable utility-man (keys, guitar, harmonies) on the worldwide touring for The Raconteurs debut album of 2006. Such flexibility and skill made him the first choice for the same position in Queens of the Stone Age in 2007 and led to him being welcomed by Josh Homme into the band as a permanent member.
Now, Fertita appears at the forefront of The Dead Weather, the dark rock and roll super-group with Jack White (The White Stripes) on drums, Alison Mosshart (The Kills) on vocals and Jack Lawrence (The Raconteurs) on bass.
So, it’s true once again – no one comes out of the blue.
A lesser soul would blanch at the task of playing guitar in a band with that guy, but Fertita’s work on Horehound shows he can hold his own, thank you very much. The fact that he takes a lion’s share of the song-writing credits only further cements his ability as one of the preeminent tune smiths in rock music today.
With that, Dean Fertita’s first dedicated solo album, Hello=Fire is a remarkable example of what the man can do when in full-charge of the ship. Moving from the darkly devil rock Horehound to the spacey melodic vein of Hello=Fire is part of Fertita’s signature versalitity, both as a writer and player.
Produced by Fertita at no less than six different studios from London to Los Angeles, most of Hello=Fire was recorded on days off during Racontuers and Queens of the Stone Age touring. With song-writing collaboration from Benson on half the disc’s tracks, the songs brim with insightful lyrics, cunning arrangements and powerful production.
That being said, Hello=Fire is a rock record through and through.
Stand-out tracks like “Far From It” and “Certain Circles” frame the entire project with a gilded, romantic lining. It’s a song like “Parallel” though that leaves the listener impressed. Everything from the majestic, drawn-out vocal streams, the evocative, warm synth warbles to the imposing, Ringo-fied drum fills that pepper the fade-out all show that this is truly a remarkable rock record.
Far From It
She Gets Remote
Mirror Each Other
Nature Of Our Minds
She’s Mine In Sorrow
I Wanna Like You
They Wear Lightning