As you may have picked up from their mention in my previous review, I am a large fan of Akron, Ohio outfit The Black Keys. I have been heard to describe them as my favourite live band.
This was their debut album, and as with Belle and Sebastian, these guys emerged from their chrysalis fully formed, with a sound which set them apart from those around them.
It is a startlingly simple idea. One guy playing electric guitar like he’s the reincarnation of some 1920s bluesman, singing very similarly. The other bloke pounding out a steady beat like there’s no tomorrow, and almost playing riffs on the highhats. The guitar sings and wails, the lyrics are not always decipherable, but the energy cannot be ignored. It is music as medicine for the soul.
This particular recording is perhaps the most rudimentary of the BK’s efforts. And it is no worse for it. Their confidence in this sound and approach means that their covers of The Stooges, Beatles and Junior Kimbrough are almost indiscernable from their own tunes.
And it’s on white vinyl!!
File under: Bluesy bliss