While America was never in danger of a shortage of Caucasian blues rock bands in the wake of a `90s mini-revival, few Delta-inspired acts harbored as much sorrow and fire within its songs as the Akron, Ohio, duo the Black Keys. Singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney hooked up in the mid-1990s and initially gained a cult following as a straight-up gin-soaked blues act. As their notoriety grew, elements of indie and garage crept in. As the pair released one critically doted upon album after another in the `00s, their sound proved eclectic and ever-evolving as the array of labels to which the act was signed (Fat Possum, Epitaph, Alive, etc.).
Limited Edition pressing of their 2008 album comes in double fold digipak packaging. On Attack and Release, Danger Mouse is more creative co- conspirator than traditional figure behind the boards. He doesn’t radically alter the duo ’s sound so much as coax out more of its inherent soulfulness, groove and bittersweet emotion. Two versions of ''Remember When'' illustrate how the duo can swing easily from smoldering ballad to thrashing rocker. ''I’ m more pleased with the sound of this record than any one we’v e ever made,'' says Carney, and Auerbach concurs: ''We never let it all go l ike we did for this one, anything was game. It was just fun to make, and that’s why I t hink it’s so successful.'' V2.
The Black Keys – Attack and Release
Number five for The Black Keys comes to us in the form of Attack and Release, a fire originally set by acclaimed producer Danger Mouse, this album may mark The Black Keys biggest stretch.
With four silver coasters under their belts, the garage blues boys, no doubt looking for a spicy addition to their already interesting stew, teamed up with Ike Turner under the supervision of silver eared Danger Mouse. When legendary Turner passed away in late ’07, the troupe continued on their pursuit of a soul-slicked version of their garage band blues.
Attack and Release is filled with the boiled down essence of soul, blues and fuzzy garage rock. Atop this pile of sound sits a multitude of intriguing sounds brought to us by flutes in “Same old thing”, xylophone on “So He Won’t Break” and the styling of Marc Ribot, usually wielding an axe for Mr. Tom Waits and Elvis Costello.
This album conveys emotion from all walks of life, and does so through a combination of styles, sounds and of course the knowledge and background vocals of DM. In 2008 a band living past the release of a sophomore album let alone 4 albums is a feat, and the Keys have shown the ability to re-invent there expression and maintain raw creativity as a dominating component in their musical pursuits. Aptly named, Attack and Release, is proving to be a goliath recording attack leading to a career changing release.
Favorite Songs: “Lies”, “Same Old Thing”, “Strange Times”
Danny LIT – Tower Pulse - 04/09/2008
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