Black Keys - Rubber Factory (Fat
Reviewed by Ricardo, Nov 2005
strange thing appears to be happening... The 'yoot' are starting
to talk about the blues in a way that arguably hasn't happened since
In the charts we've had The White Stripes and their 'Elephant' making
a case for a back to basics guitar and drums riffery, and there
are a whole bunch of other pale indie kids following just behind
that are all flirting with the attitudes and sounds of the blues.
While it would be stretching the point to argue that The White Stripes
are a blues band, there are no such difficulties with The Black
Keys. This CD, as with their previous (and magnificent) 'The Big
Come Up' and 'Thickfreakness', is unmistakably blues, but blues
which seems to have moulded a new variant relevant to it's times...
Sounds like the 60's again eh?
The Black Keys are Dan Auerbach (Guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums),
both in their mid 20's, who make fantastically raw and direct music
which connects all the way back to the Mississippi Delta roots of
the blues but which also acknowledges that they're living in the
They play in a similar rough, raw, dirty style as their Fat Possum
label mates Junior Kimborough and T-Model Ford which should please
even the most die-hard blues purists, but they have also managed
to blend in enough of the rest of the modern world to ensure their
appeal stretches to people who until recently would not have touched
'blues' in a million years.
From the opening deep boom of 'When The Lights Go Out' to the soaring
feedback soundscaping of 'Aeroplane Blues' to the slide based groove
of 'Keep Me', the whole things rocks along with intensity and style
that much of the blues establishment can only dream of. Dan Auerbach
is already starting to receive the recognition in the guitar world
that he deserves - he really does appear to be an extraordinary
talent, not for million-miles-an-hour technique but for soul and
feel and imagination. That it's just the two of them is amazing.
By all accounts their live performances are even more dynamic and
powerful than the records.
If you're the booing Dylan and Bloomfield type then this is not
for you. For everybody else, this is a great album. It's great in
it's own terms, but also as a indication that the blues really is
alive and well and moving forward. Do yourself a favour and get
hold of a copy.
CD £12.95 Available from AMAZON