"Love Interruption," the first single from Jack White's forthcoming album, was a fine slice of Lee Hazlewood-flavored country soul. But this, friends, is the shit. From the second that opening power chord punches into your skull like Javier Bardem's bolt gun from No Country for Old Men, it's on: Jack White, solo artist, spitting out tweaked, tortured metal-esque garage rock just like he did in the old days. If there are acoustic string instruments here, as there were on his recent Saturday Night Live performance of the song, they are barely in evidence. What you get is a firestorm of electric-guitar noise cloaked in Hammond-organ smoke, with a crushing groove that never gets too busy. Meg White isn't here, but her spirit lingers.
Listen to "Sixteen Saltines":
• Photos: Random Notes