Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Black Keys - Brothers

Pat Carney and Dan Auerbach aren’t brothers, but they might as well be. The Akron duo has been playing music together since the two were teens, and it shows. Auerbach refers to their musical relationship as a well-oiled machine. In fact, the Black Keys finished Brothers in nine days of recording at Muscle Shoals studio. On their sixth album, dirt and grime coat every song. A visceral rawness radiates throughout, giving the album an attitude that reaches back to basics – distorted guitars, pounding beats, and clean bass. “Howlin’ For You,” which will probably land at the top of the ‘2010 scorchers’ list, kicks off with Jock Jams drum hits and amps cranked to 11. Danger Mouse, who produced 2008’s Attack and Release, was back behind the boards on “Tighten Up.” The song’s innocent whistling adds just the right amount of whimsy to the driving riffs and bumbling bass. It ends with a slo-mo guitar solo that’s straight out of a movie dream sequence. Carney and Auerbach cover Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” with old soul flavor, and stay true to their blues revivalism on “Next Girl.” With grooves this good, you kinda wish the guys were your relations.

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