The Dead Weather plays "gothic blues." Also, Jack White wants to be Son House, Alison Mosshart wants to be PJ Harvey, and the tastemakers at Pitchfork believe the above has come to pass. (Plus: spooky voodoo music.) But get past the supergroup absurdities and fashionista fallacies and just turn up Horehound, the Dead Weather's 2009 debut, and something true about the blues cuts through the sludge. White can be as spirited a drummer as Meg, while Mosshart sounds more sultry and soulful, even at full larynx laceration, than she does on any Kills record. None of which should be construed as damning with faint praise. The thick keyboards of Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) and the bombastic guitar of Jack Lawrence (Raconteurs) just add to the sucker punch of these post-modern blues.