Monday, June 9, 2008

On the Turntable: The Black Keys, Attack and Release

Thought that riff rock was dead? Well think again. The Black Keys recent effort, Attack and Release, brings that 70s rock sound back with a flair. Reminiscent of Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, and Robin Trower, the Black Keys weave together driving rhythms with catchy, yet simple melodies—the formula that gave birth to a multitude of rock anthems.

The Black Keys are an Akron based duo comprised of Dan Auerbach (guitars and vocals) and Patrick Carney (drums). Attack and Release was produced by Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley, Gorillas). According to the band website, the record was largely recorded in a "haunted house that hadn't been updated since 1973." Attack and Release is definitely haunted by the spectre of early 1970s hard rock.

“Strange Times” is the most radio friendly song and gets airplay on my local independent station. It features a simple driving riff and a melodic chorus. “I Got Mine” sound like it could have come off of Robin Trower’s Bridge of Sighs release. "The Same Old Thing," which features a flute in the background, could easily be mistaken for an early Jethro Tull song. Although the elements of 70s rock anthems are present, there are no gratuitously long guitar solos as few of the song are longer than four or five minutes. I have not seen them live, but can’t help but wonder if that situation is remedied on stage. Nonetheless, the Black Keys have put together a nice, listenable, rock album. And oh yeah, Disco Sucks.

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