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Published: 2012/01/10
by Ron Hart

The Black Keys
El Camino

Nonesuch

Akron, Ohio rock duo The Black Keys celebrate their 10th year in operation with their sleekest, glossiest studio endeavor to date. Working once again with producer Dangermouse, who helmed the pair’s 2008 effort Attack and Release, El Camino marks a drastic turn from the Muscle Shoals-indebted warmth of their excellent Grammy winning 2010 album Brothers in just about every way, shape and form imaginable. According to members Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney, the sound of this record was influenced by the likes of The Clash and The Cramps. However, upon listening to such tracks as “Gold on the Ceiling,” an educated ear can hear more of a semblance of T. Rex and The Sweet imbued within the riffs.

For Black Keys purists who swear by their copies of The Big Come Up and the group’s massively underrated tribute EP honoring Fat Possum icon Junior Kimbrough Chulahoma: The Songs of Junior Kimbrough, however, the sharp shift from blues to glam might be a little jarring at first. But repeated spins of this 11 song set will eventually reveal the bright spots that have rock critics the world over aglow with praise, namely the psych-boogie rave-up “Stop Stop” and LP opener “Lonely Boy,” which owes a debt of gratitude to both Jonathan Richman’s Modern Lovers and Steel Wheels -era Rolling Stones. Meanwhile, “Little Black Submarines”, with its placid acoustic intro that explodes into a full-throttle rocker straight out of Deep Purple’s Burn period, is one of the best tunes The Black Keys have ever created in their decade of action. El Camino is Auerbach and Carney’s Eliminator. Let’s just hope the next one isn’t their Recycler.

Comments

There are 3 comments associated with this post

deb January 14, 2012, 20:53:35

That is my thought too. At first it was a bit jarring but it’s so much fun that after playing it a few time you can see the similarities and see the growth.

Barriza April 21, 2012, 23:43:43

Some friends and I are going to enjoy a tiny taste of the FloydFest-brand eteartninment in Richmond this evening. One of the groups is appearing here. We’d like to sample the real thing but being outside is just too brutal right now. I’m sure those who can deal with it will have a great time! In the meantime we’ll enjoy from air conditioned environment.The Sounds of South America: Music by SolazoFriday, July 23, 2010Time: 6:00 PM–7:30 PMPlace: Library of Virginia, $10 Tickets are available through the Virginia Shop (804-692-3524)Hailing from Chile, Argentina, and Ecuador, the four members of Solazo will offer up a unique blend of Latin folk, contemporary dance music, and soulful ballads that appeal to all ages and cultures. Their newest CD, Mindful Journeys, is an exciting compilation of original music inspired by traditional styles borrowed from Spain, Cuba, Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Ecuador. Layered with sensual Cuban rhythms and spiked with the unusual flavors of Andean sounds (panpipe, charango, and mandolin), the authentic and artful arrangements move fluidly from flamenco to mambo within the course of a single song. The band’s sound is further distinguished by enchanting and pure vocal harmonies that consistently captivate. A crowd favorite at the Richmond Folk Festival, this group of immigrants currently calls Floyd County, Virginia, home. This concert is offered in conjunction with the Library of Virginia’s exhibition The Land We Live In, the Land We Left: Virginia’s People.

Salemselvam April 23, 2012, 22:11:21

Jammin’ your way to 94 million!!! (get it?) Celebrity DJ’s and erenythivg you’re the coolest HH keep up the fantastic work for a great cause.

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