The Black Keys :: Attack & Release

The Black Keys & Danger Mouse unleash and Album of the Year Candidate!


Gritty black & white songs crafted by the deft Akron, OH duo

I can't stop listening to the new Black Keys record. There isn't much more real and gritty right now than this pair of Akron, Ohio musicians playing their guts out. Authentic DIYers Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are the Black Keys and on their new album (the fifth in their collection - an album called Attack & Release) the pair have abruptly changed direction by employing an outside producer.

Thankfully, that producer is Brian Burton (a.k.a. producer extraordinaire Danger Mouse - of Gnarls Barkley fame.) Burton, err Danger Mouse, is a crafty bastard and he found a way to maintain the gritty, bleak feel that has made the Black Keys a successful original and elicited more from the pair - bringing color and new dynamism into their work.

You can't help but love the hard rockin' "Strange Times." By the time you sink your teeth into "I Got Mine," you realize that the Black Keys have definitely one-upped the Raconteurs in 2008. The aforementioned indie rock super group previously released a great album of their own, Consolers of the Lonely. But that one has already been surpassed as the best. (Sorry Jack and Brendan, but you got out-rocked and out-bluesed by two dudes from Akron!) The raunchy guitar on "I Got Mine" are pratically perfect. The clatter of the tambourine and the bloody pace threaten to blow the night wide open and damage whatever stereo equipment it's played on.

If you don't have the Attack & Release album- right now may be a good time to run out and grab a copy. (*Also check out the very cool Black Keys/Danger Mouse writeup in the new Filter Magazine - Issue 30 - Spring 2008 - on sale now.)

The Black Keys have released an Indie Rock Album of the Year candidate with this one!


Brian Burton a.k.a. DM by Monica Almeida (New York Times)

The rambling, strutting "Psychotic Girl" allows the band to relive the love lost by ten thousand bluesmen who came before them. The song is a beautiful jam of multi-instrumentalism. We hear Danger Mouse's signature as the whine of the instruments and electronic effects fall into line with Carney's drums and match the words Auerbach spout on loss. Brilliant. Whisked away on this song, but before we know it, it's over.


The RESULT is real Album of the Year potential:

The Black Keys
Myspace / Web


Anonymous said…
hey dude
i just saw TBK last night
i am looking for reviews but none to be found
the show was tight, they rocked and i love the album
but my Q is why must you compare them to the Raconteurs? i think their 2nd album is more diverse than A & R, sorry. there are 14 tracks vs 11 for TBK.
no big deal just both bands
Ryan Spaulding said…
Hi Anon.

I missed the Boston show as I was on a flight back from Las Vegas last night. Wish I had been there. I will link this review to whatever live reviews I can find for that show.

As for my mention of the Raconteurs the comparison is fair for two reasons: First I love the sound of both and secondly, these two groups are both making gritty rock n roll in an age where that's increasingly rare.

And it's just my opinion - but the number of tracks has nothing to do with their quality. I remember that being a factor when I bought CDs in the mall after high school... but the proof is in the pudding these days.

Mark your calendar... As of today: May 18, 2008 - Attack and Release is the Album of the Year at this moment. We will reconvene at the end to discuss!
Anonymous said…
Hi nice posts.

If you missed the Black Keys you will love this exclusive set of B&W pictures straight from their Astoria gig in London.

only on

come visit me

live music on B&W film
Ryan Spaulding said…
Most impressive images. Thanks for sharing! Stop by anytime.

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