2004 release, the third album from the acclaimed Alt-Rock/Blues duo. Rubber Factory continues the Black Keys' tradition of raw, heavily blues-influenced indie rock. Rubber Factory was recorded in an abandoned coal burning power plant in the Black Keys' hometown of Akron, Ohio, and like Thickfreakness, was recorded and produced by Patrick Carney.
The third low-tech, high-impact recording from the Akron, Ohio, duo is once again a loud and lively confirmation that passion, not precision, is what the blues is all about. With Dan Auerbach's insistent, abrasive guitar tone and drummer Patrick Carney's violent percussion workouts, the Black Keys' sound thrashes about with industrial-strength garage-band energy, but it also connects directly to the core sensibilities of the original blues creators with its primal expressions of pain and pride. With Auerbach shouting out the vocals the duo rocks hard in its stripped-down, ragged glory mode on Hendrix
-influenced shredders like "10 A.M. Automatic" and "The Desperate Man," the fuzzed-out "Till I Get My Way," and the surprisingly swinging "Just Couldn't Tie Me Down." But it also delivers the same emotional intensity in a less frantic form on the moody mini-masterpiece "The Lengths." And, for all the justifiable fascination with the out-of-control excitement of the duo's punkish instrumental approach, the group continues to excel at songcraft, a talent expressed both in its own material and in its ability to recognize and expand the disguised merits of lesser-known cover songs. It follows a previous Beatles
rarity recording with a nod to the Kinks
this time via a personalized cover of "Act Nice and Gentle," probably the last thing the Black Keys would ever be accused of being. --Michael Point