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The Black Keys / New Release

Written by: soundofruby
Published: 01.04.2008
All hail the riff king! The Black Keys' guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach has the meanest way with a hook since Jimmy Page. He adds to his arsenal on the band's 5 full-length release, on which each track pounds its way into your skull with fuzzy, swampy fury. Less is very definitely more in Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney's world as the stripped-down guitar/drums attack smolders, burns, and then ignites without shifting into heavy-metal overdrive. But even with the occasional ballad such as "You're the One" slowing the momentum, this is an intoxicating blast of raw, thudding blues power. The duo impressively control the dynamics, raising and lowering the tension in a yin-yang struggle of ominous, greasy, heavy blues-rock that never sounds forced. With the exception of a few subtle but effective overdubs, this is the sound Auerbach and Carney heard in the drummer's basement studio where the music was recorded. Like the best rock and roll, the disc exudes a dark, cramped claustrophobia and foreboding sense of danger, just like wandering through a haunted house, unaware of what is behind the next corner. It's the main ingredient in the band's deceptively simple yet potent formula that creates this addictive, compelling, and often intense album.



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