Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Music Decade List#15: The Black Keys - Rubber Factory (2004)

Rubber Factory was a big step forward for The Black Keys. While not sounding all that different from their previous two releases, the production and songwriting are refined to a level that would create the sound that would define the band. Listen to '10 A.M. Automatic' alone and you get the idea. It has the killer guitar riff and melody but it's the finer points that really work in its benefit. The overdubbing of guitars was something that wasn't heard much in the bands first two albums and in this track, they enhance but never drown out the fact this is a two man group. The finer production details are what make Rubber Factory a solid album, from heavier tracks like 'Grown So Ugly' and 'Stack Shot Billy' to something like 'The Lengths', which was a big surprise when the albums first appeared. There's a great cover of The Kink's 'Act Nice and Gentle', which shows the band doesn't have to go full-bore to get a great song across. The Black Keys are really doing nothing more than re-interpreting blues and classic rock templates but what makes them different than a junk cover band or a band like Jet is that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are never imitating anything. They're taking a wealth of blues and rock influences and making something uniquely their own out of it.

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