The Black Keys have been riding the rock and roll wave since their debut in 2002, making a bold statement with their ‘in your face nancy grace’ hard blues and primal force. They certainly tick all of my boxes.
One of the only bands in the modern world to keep us psyched as hell and cool as jazz; The Black Keys have quite the journey over the past ten years, producing some of the best all round albums to ever surface the noughties.
You’re an arsehole if you call The rock duo a counterpart of The White Stripes, of course, the obvious similarities being their names are colour-coded, they come from the Mid-West of the states and they’re both a guitar and drum duo. But the keys bring a whole new noise to the table, with more edgy and distinctive sounds, as well as a mean-streak that the Stripes never could have dreamed of.
Every album of theirs is different. Take ‘Magic Potion’. Released in 2006, ‘Magic Potion’ is by far the bands most honest selection of tracks. Each song whales a sense of pure euphoria from the guitar, right down to the excenrtic and heavy prolonged drums. Every song is purely built by one dude playing a guitar and the other bashing the shit out of a drum. What more could you want from a hard rock album?
And then we jump to ‘Brothers’. By far their most popular album to rock fans alike, this album generated three major hits, “Tighten Up”, “Howlin’ for You” and “Next Girl”. Returning to their blues roots, The Keys generated a comfortable sound that could be recognised for years to come. They came into their own and stuck to it. And boy do we love it.
It’s kind of sad though don’t you think? In Magic Potion they weren’t trying to be anything, they just loved making sounds that made your ears bleed with sheer pleasure. It’s great that they became individuals. But they sacrificed themselves to conformity, something which The Black Keys isn’t about. So let’s just be thankful ‘El Camino’ came out in 2011, otherwise I don’t think I’d be listening to them right now.
Written By – George O’Dell, Contributor