Sound — 9
I'd say the band has a classic rock sound but a bit heavier, faster, and funkier. There are also some psychedelic/progressive influences. The guitar tones are very similar to those used in QOTSA. Parts of the record are very very reminiscent of later works by the Beatles. For example there is a weird ending to Mind Eraser that I believe is just a trumpet.
Lyrics — 9
Josh Homme has a very unique lyrical style which has really grown on me, especially on this record. A few of the songs seem to be about sexual attraction. I would call them love songs but they're more about lust than love, which I like since love songs are usually pretty corny. My favorite songs lyrically and otherwise are Mind Eraser and Dead End Friends. To me Dead End Friends seems to have many meanings but I think mainly it is about Heroin and those who use it. Lines like "nights in these veins it's calling me, racing through these arteries" lead me to believe that. Parts of the song seem like Homme is the user and Heroin his Dead End Friend, while other parts give the feeling that he is talking about someone else. Mind Eraser seems to be very much about ignorance and happiness. It features some of my favorite lines ever such as "give me the reason why the minds a terrible thing to waste? Understanding is cruel the monkey said as it launched to space" I'd say in general Homme's lyrics are sort of all over the place. At times he makes it difficult to see what the subject of the song is. This may bother some people, but I personally like it more, as I find lyrics that are too literal to be boring since there's not much to interpret from them.
Overall Impression — 9
I love this album and would replace it if it were lost/stolen. I find the the first four tracks to be significantly better than any others. Those are No One Loves Me & Neither Do I, New Fang, Mind Eraser, and Dead End Friends, after those my next favorite track is Bandoliers. I think this band sounds most like QOTSA, I don't think they sound the least bit like the other artists (Grohl, Jones) previous acts. I also think they distance themselves from previous acts and their influences enough that I wouldn't really compare them to any other band. Aside from maybe QOTSA only because the vocals and guitar tone is similar (as to be expected). Overall this is a great album, one of my top three of the year along with Daisy (Brand New) and BGWTB (AiC). I would recommend the album to anyone who likes QOTSA and/or anyone who likes semi-heavy music that's got a lot of energy.