As with most of their albums, it’s always striking to think this is the work of just two guys! Those two guys are Dan Auerbach on guitars and vocals, and Patrick Carney on drums. It’d be easy to complicate the formula, but as we hear on El Camino it’s not necessary. Their sound is charged up; it’s loud and catchy as heck. Auerbach showcases a keen ability to come up with some of the best rock guitar riffs we’ve heard in a long time. Take your pick, whether it’s his ability to get your hips shaking on the undeniable “Lonely Boy,” or just shred as he does on “Gold on the Ceiling,” Auerbach brings it. The only real outside influence on these songs, aside from a few backing vocalists, is Brian Burton. Similar to their album Attack & Release, The Keys enlist Burton to produce the entire album. And he’s the perfect fit.
The Keys are intensely focused on these new songs. And for the most part, the entire album stays at full-throttle from start to finish. The lone exception comes on “Little Black Submarines” which isolates Auerbach and an acoustic guitar on the first half of the song. That’s before the hammer drops and that classic Keys crunch comes in. There is so much to gush over on El Camino, and that’s without mentioning (until now) the video for “Lonely Boy.” El Camino is the type of album that takes you to the next level as a band, and if there’s a group that put in their time and earned it, it’s The Black Keys.
CD OF THE MONTH: DEC 2011
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The Black Keys' El Camino
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