There were a few reasons I wasn't expecting much from the Dead Weather. For one, the Raconteurs, while no doubt their own separate thing from the White Stripes, still have a pretty strong resemblance to each member's earlier work. I figured the last thing we needed was another band from Jack with the same sound. I also don't care for the Kills much, so with that, and all the exposure this new band was getting before anyone heard much from them, I was bracing myself the worst. Boy can you imagine my surprise as soon as I finally put this CD in.
While you can tell with the Raconteurs who wrote each song just by listening and comparing to each persons older work, the Dead Weather have a sound that is completely their own. It's murky, fuzzy, aggressive, bluesy, Southern goth-y, and sometimes brooding. It's a sound that they maintain perfectly throughout the whole album. Dean Fertita and Jack Lawrence compliment each other very well, and together, they manufacture some absolutely hair-raising sounds throughout Horehound. Allison Mosshart is perfect for this band, and puts in a great performance. Jack White plays behind the kit in the same way he plays guitar: steady, straight-forward, dynamically, and skillfully while always putting the good of the song ahead of showing off. He also has a few vocal spots and delivers pretty well.
I don't want to compare the Dead Weather with any of White's other band's anymore. The White Stripe comparisons have dogged the Raconteurs to the point where I wonder how much longer they will be around. The Dead Weather are their own band and deserve to be looked at as their own band, not just the sum of their parts. Horehound is an album that grabs you by the throat from the start, rocking hard from "Hang You From the Heavens" to "Bone House", with some outstanding, if more laid back tracks at the beginning and end. The only aspect that needs a little more work in the future (I say while hoping this isn't just a one-off) is in the lyrics. Too many songs rely on repeating lines, not particularly great ones either. That isn't to say they're delivered poorly, Mosshart does a great job and her back-and-forth's with White on a few songs are outstanding, I just think there could have been a little more thought put into the lyrics.
This has been one of my favorite albums this year. It is well-worth getting. Every track is great, "I Cut Like a Buffalo" didn't hit as well as I would have liked but it's already starting to grow on me, and they all sound better when played together. That said, my favorite tracks have to be "60 Feet Tall", "So Far From Your Weapon", "Treat Me Like Your Mother", "No Hassle Night", and "Will There Be Enough Water?"
P.S. Check out the live version of "Will There Be Enough Water?" on youtube. It has an unbelievable solo by White that I was very disappointed to see not make the album.