The Dead Weather
Dark, slinky, and dead sexy, Horehound is the most fully realized product of Jack White’s storied ’70s fixations to date. It’s the kind of damaged blues rock that erstwhile indie darlings Royal Trux might have made if they hadn’t been so junked out, or so obtuse. To be sure, White’s always a guaranteed good time, whether it’s with the White Stripes or the Raconteurs, his not-so-side project with Brendan Benson. But whereas much of his other work—especially with the Raconteurs—comes off like a sampler platter of White’s favorite classic rock, the Dead Weather is its own weird, dangerous beast, its influences breathily insinuated rather than spelled out in big block letters.
Maybe credit Kills vocalist Alison Mosshart, who shares singing duties with White and shares or claims outright songwriting credit on nine of the album’s 11 tracks. Her black-widow vocals contribute mightily to Horehound’s furtive, menacing vibe. Or maybe it’s the unlikely role White has taken with his new outfit—he’s the Dead Weather drummer, his guitar contributions being regulated to acoustic lines on a single track. Whatever the case, Horehound is more seamless than either of the Raconteurs’ records, and more devastatingly on point than the Stripes have sounded since White Elephant.