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Feeling heartsick from love's tumult, sweating bullets in the middle of the night, drinking lightning from a corn liquor bottle, sitting in a room whose walls are so blue they look black, digging into the joy-and-pain double helix of existence and finding heavy soul, kicking out a blues rock rumpus in search of salvation...this is the electrifying world of The Black Keys and their sophomore album thickfreakness.
2002 was a heckuva year for The Black Keys (Dan Auerbach, vocals and guitar; Patrick Carney, drums and production). The true-school two-piece came roaring straight of out Akron, Ohio with a debut album The Big Come-Up on the tiny Alive label that garnered barely-contained raves in Rolling Stone, Spin, The Village Voice and MOJO. One listen to The Big Come Up -- a startling raw slab of juke-joint blues -- validated the band's rapid ascent from playing for no money on the bottom of the bill at Cleveland's Beachland Tavern to selling out blistering headline dates and being invited to open for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and (on New Year's Eve) elder Ohio statesmen Guided By Voices.
With all the righteous acclaim, the band was inevitably enticed by big league offers like so many glasses of carrot juice dangled at the end of an electric cattle prod. But after the results of a trial session in a swank California recording studio proved thoroughly unsatisfying, the band hooked up with Fat Possum Records and reconnoitered back in Akron to craft their Fat Possum debut. Descending to the dank cellar of Carney's Minimum Wage Studio, the pair dove into 14 straight hours of recording. With no one else in the studio, and Carney dashing back and forth between his drumkit and the mixing board, the two-man immersion tank/musical incubator came alive. "Nothing like being in your own basement surrounded by your own garbage," says Carney (who incidentally is the nephew of Tom Waits' longtime sax sideman Ralph Carney).
Top Customer Reviews
As a huge fan of anything blues and anything rock (from Jimi Hendrix to Kings of Leon to the excellent Mofro), I can heartily recommend this album. If you like your singers gruff, downtrodden (but fighting) and passionate about their music then you won't be disappointed. Dan Auerbach gives his sandpaper delivery enough punch to have you wishing you could do the same and questioning just how someone of his ethnicity manages to sound so good. On top of this, he lends beautiful guitar-work to every track, creating an individuality rarely seen outside of Hendrix performances (especially by the more mainstream acts such as Kings of Leon and others).
Patrick Carney provides ample drum work to back up each track and have you tapping along shamelessly in public places!
The fact that this album was reportedly recorded in just 14 hours of one day is astounding - and the result of such a feat is unquestionably great. Perhaps only the late, great Alice In Chains managed such a brilliant album in such a short space of time with their wonderful Jar Of Flies/Sap output; albeit in a different genre of music.
Get this now - you will not regret it. And while you're at it, check out Mofro's Lochloosa album.
The only good rock music nowdays is modern blues/soul/garage stuff.
And this is one of the best examples. The keys are the best band not to come from detroit.
Forget all the hives vines and kings of leon crap, that is so undoubtedly over rated, the keys are one of the best modern rock bands blow away the likes of the lost prophets and him and the rasmus and the likes.
With john auerbachs black sounding voice and ever so slightly hendrix sounding guitar, complimented by patrick carneys sublime druming and production skills. These guys are up there with the stripes and soledads and dirtbombs, helping to make the only true good modern rock.
This album is also one of the best i have heard. The vocals on thickfreakness-the title track and the general rythem and guitar playing through out the album are inspiring. especially set you free, my personal favourite. and even for people who wouldnt useually listen to the more demanding hard core guitar styles, this album is quite easy listening and is great to unwind too.
Brilliant is the only word to describe it.
The latter may be true but The Black Keys are in a class and indeed, world of their own. Two guys - one playing guitar and providing vocals that you would swear came from a black man and the other drums, both under the age of 23 playing the blues as if they had been for decades in Tennessee.
If you're relatively young, this album i gaurentee will get you into the blues, and if you're old (even if you deny it!) this album will get you back into the blues and will make you want to blow the dust off all those classic vinyls!
They make all the possible feelings in the world, even the ones you think are bad sound really good through the simplest of things. Mainly, a blues riff! I don't want to tell you which songs stand out, because in all truthness, they are all equally brilliant. So just go and discover them and draw your own conclusions.
You almost want every person on the planet to know about this band, but then you take a moment to think about it, and you want to keep it how it is, a band nearly all to yourself!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great bluesy raw album. Seemingly two blokes with a few garage instruments belting it out. Bought specifically on vinyl to test out my middle age foray into record players having... Read morePublished 11 months ago by S D FITCH
rambunctiousheavyintensekeeningrelentlessgrowlyornerycolossalsweaty... Read more
I agree with everything Leon says below. Just one thing: the other example of a group recording an album in something like 14 hours is the Beatles' first, Please Please Me. Read morePublished 12 months ago by REF