Sound — 10
Although all of you checked out "Horehound" for Mr. Jack White III, you're going to find yourself listening to "Sea Of Cowards" over and over for everyone in the band. From the dark funk of "Blue Blood Blues" to the ritualistic prayer of "Old Mary", you're going to be amazed how much The Dead Weather have upped their game. The record feels like a jam in every sense of the word: the goth-blues of "Horehound" have found it's way back to Sea Of Cowards, in a much more streamlined and better written form. Alison Mosshart's vocals on the album are as dark and treacherous as the music behind it. The riffs and synth lines provided by Queens of the Stone Ages Dean Fertita and the Greenhorne's Jack Lawrence are like madmen, being held back by Jack White's confident and swaggering drum work. The best thing about the sound is that you see all of the members of the band taking on a form you would hardly expect, especially White: Americana's sparkling face, playing country music on blues-y proto punk records during the garage revival in the early 21st Century hasn't reverted even further like his predecessors, but transformed into a black leather, ferocious form of himself that's barely recognizable. The whole band takes on this styles, and it shines through.
Lyrics — 8
Alison Mosshart is probably the most crucial element in making the Dead Weather work; croons unlike much I've heard before, especially from a female singer: she's sexy, she's dark, and most importantly, she's pissed. The sexual references put into blues in its advent have been taken to a new level. Song's like "Die By The Drop" find both Jack White and Alison howling and killing in the night like Bonnie and Clyde. While the experimentation in the music works for the record, the simplicity in the lyrics work just as well, the almost S&M sounding "I Can't Hear You" has Mosshart at her most swaggering. The snarls on "Gasoline" glide in between hot licks from Jack White, and even when Jack has lead vocals, like on the spoken word "Old Mary", she still comes of amazing.
Overall Impression — 10
Is this the White Stripes? Hell no. The great thing about this record is that it's the polar opposite while still maintaining a shape not unlike it. The sonic experimentation, the darkness, and the sex on "Sea Of Cowards" makes it more like the Stripes sexy older sister, and this time, you really can't resist. The only real set back is the album is so short, and gives you so little of the gothic nectar you're gonna crave after listening. The whole album puts the "terrifying" in terrific. The best cuts you haven't heard previous to purchase are the synthed up "The Difference Between Us" and the Guitar Hero-destined "Gasoline." To say this album is good really isn't doing it justice, because it's really just that good for anyone who loves dirty and dark rock and roll, and I'd recommend it to just about anybody.