Soundchecks Music Reviews

Thickfreakness

Fat Possum / Epitaph

Rubber Factory

theblackkeys.com

THICKFREAKNESS / RUBBER FACTORY
The Black Keys

reviews by Michael Lohr

Alive and loud from the rubber tyre capital of the free world Akron, Ohio these guys will rock your arses off. Forget all US press hype over Kings Of Leon or The Strokes and certainly forget about the needless frothing over limp-wristed Duran Duran in heat, Franz Ferdinand. I don't bloody care if they are from Scotland, if I want fru-fru music with guitars I'll stick on a Queen record.

The Black Keys will rock you. Like another blue-collar town band The White Stripes (they're from Detroit in case you don't know), they understand real song writing and craft their songs accordingly. Some call it retro; I call it real music. I haven't heard bass lines like this since the heydays of John Paul Jones and John Entwistle. Imagine Jimi Hendrix meets The Who in a dingy garage just ripping out beautiful jams. But don't take my word for it. In a recent interview in Rolling Stone, seminal rock legend Robert Plant mentioned The Black Keys as the only new band that has grabbed his attention.

Meet The Black Keys... Oh, and did I mention that all this noise was made by just two people. Their sophomore record, Thickfreakness is like a loud, unruly Cream being fronted by Jimi Hendrix. This is rich, textured blues-rock slapping you back to 1969 and showing you what real rock music actually sounds like (a rare occurrence these days). And only two people create all this noise: Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney. Imagine Mississippi Delta Blues strained through a fuzz-tone guitar and Marshall amps.

Some of the best songs on Thickfreakness are Hard Row and Have Love Will Travel which was used in a car commercial in the US. It's like Cream crashing into Howlin' Wolf on a full moon night. This record is a little more laid back than their power-hitting debut, The Big Come Up, but only by a little.

On Rubber Factory songs like When The Lights Go Out, 10:AM Automatic and Stack Shot Billy come roaring out of your speakers like some hybrid timewarp looking to teach this emo bitch culture what real rock 'n' roll is all about. The Black Keys are what bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Hives, and The Vines wish they could be and The Strokes hope they will be when they grow up.

These guys rejected a record deal from a major label and instead signed a deal with blues label aficionado, Fat Possum. The Black Keys just maybe are the future of rock 'n' roll and the future is now.


Edited by Tony Lee
for PIGASUS Press