Top positive review
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Damn right it's thick
on April 19, 2004
The Black Keys are two guys from the American mid-west, hard as it to believe that only two people make this thick, rich audio gumbo. They play the blues, post-modern blues with licks of psychedelia and rockabilly, white mid-west blues, punk blues. They write original music, even though you'll swear some of those songs have got to be fifty or sixty years old. Can two white kids from Akron, Ohio play the blues with anything like conviction? Oh, yeah.
Patrick Carney plays drums, and he plays them heavy, the kick-drum thuds into your stomach, the cymbals are muted like they're coated with years of cigarette smoke from greasy clubs and roadhouses. This guy ain't a showoff drummer, he's a hold down the groove until you find yourself breathing in time sort of drummer.
Dan Auerbach plays guitar like he's stringing barbed wire, through an old Ampeg amplifier that is one gig short of meltdown. And he sings like he's done time in Mississippi jails, impossible, this guy is in his early twenties, where did he get the chops to stream that kind of pain through his voice? Can he write a blues lyric? "She want to get out the car, in the middle of the road, her screamin' and hollerin', it's getting mighty old," yup, he can.
This album reeks of cigarette smoke and beer and gasoline fumes, the whole tone reminds me of Exile on Main Street, it's gritty and earthy, three a.m. blues when the band is past caring about the audience and just playing their pain away.
So, The Black Keys, with a guitarist who sounds like he's channeling Elmore James and a drummer who sounds like an idling Chevy 327 with bad lifters are now on Fat Possum records, the real deal. Their music is thick enough to chew, it tips its hat to all the right forefathers(...).