Just over a year ago the Akron, Ohio natives Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney who make up the Rock Blues duo The Black Keys weren’t considered much more than independent musicians just barely surfacing on the music scene. In the summer of 2010 the duo released Brothers which was well received and was awarded three Grammy Awards, including Best Alternative Music Album. Since Brothers, “The Black Keys” have become a dominant force in the modern music scene, headlining major festivals like Bonnaroo across the U.S. in 2011 and featured on numerous TV ad campaigns. But, it appears The Black Keys have just scratched the surface of their rise to stardom.
With the release El Camino, their seventh album in ten years, it’s evident The Black Keys are not only on top of their game but willing to explore and conquer different music genre’s. On their past albums the duo brought a raw basement blues rock to the forefront of modern music. There was a tough purist vintage-cool quality to there music which they perfected in Brothers. For El Camino they teamed up with longtime producer Danger Mouse to create the bands grandest pop gesture yet while keeping true to their roots. El Camino is a rough foot stompin’, fist pumpin’ album that keeps you hypnotically intrigued throughout. Dan Auerbach matches his haunting vocals, and sexy choruses with dark fuzzy blues rifts that snarl while Patrick’s primal drum surf beats echoe across the album. El Camino effortlessly channels a great range of artists like the Booker T. and the MG’s, The Clash, and the Ramones. It continues The Black Keys rich tradition of tapping into the deep history of American roots music of Blues, Soul, Country, and Rock and Roll without sounding like anyone else. I can only hope those who have followed The Black Keys don’t find this album as a “sell out” style but see it for its real value. El Camino is a exploration of a band who has already mastered a style and on the verge of conquering another. The only question is weather this will be the album of the year for 2011 or 2012.
Be sure to check The Black Keys discuss El Camino on the Colbert Report Below.