Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Black Keys

I've never been in a band but if I was I would imagine that I would hate it if my band was always compared to another no matter what we put out. In every review inevitably the same comparison would appear...I don't know if I could stand it.

This must be the way The Black Keys feel. They have a new album out, Attack and Release, and in each review there always seem to be a comparison to The White Stripes in there somewhere. For example, this is from the Rolling Stone review in which they received 3 1/2 stars:

"That's great for the Keys, who are often obscured by the shadow of fellow Midwestern drums-and-guitar duo the White Stripes. Sure, minimalist stompers like "I Got Mine" and "Remember When (Side B)," all raw rock riffs and cymbal sizzles, echo early Jack 'n' Meg. But "Psychotic Girl" is something else, with its banjo opening and spook-house choir. Ditto the Memphis soul of "Lies" and "Oceans and Streams," which show vocalist Dan Auerbach as a first-rate updater of old-school tradition."
From the very first line of the Pitchfork review:

"The Black Keys seemed doomed to linger in the long, black-and-red shadow of the White Stripes."
From the Spin review [also 3 1/2 stars]:

"All blues-punk duos, the Black Keys included, start with a reverence for the source material and the thrill of ruled composition. They get ragged for a while (in the Keys' case, for four albums), eventually establishing bona fides. Then comes the futzing around (see the thick thrum of the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army")."
The Black Keys -- Strange Times
The first single from Attack and Release.

The Black Keys -- My Mind Is Ramblin'
From the Chulahoma EP.

The Black Keys -- Give Your Heart Away
From the Magic Potion album.

The Black Keys -- Hurt Like Mine
From the Thickfreakness album.