Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Black Keys - Attack & Release


Produced by the 'he's everywhere, he's everywhere' producer (and a personal favourite of mine), Danger Mouse, Attack & Release is The Black Keys' fifth full length album.  It's also the first album of theirs I bought. 

Like a lot of the new millenium bands, this duo slipped by me while I was squirrelling away in my home studio, writing beats and rehearsing the little hip hop band I was producer for at the time.  Another part of my avoidance issues (and this was true with my problem with The White Stripes as well) was I wasn't convinced a two piece band could sound 'proper'.  I'm such a fan of fat bass and drums, the idea of reducing the formula to vocals, guitars and drums didn't really sound like it would work, at least not in a way that would interest me.  But I am nothing if not willing to be proven wrong.

Attack & Release is a damned fine record of what could be called modern blues rock.  I should have trusted my ears instead of ignoring The Black Keys based on what I'd read about them.  I've listened to both this and their first album, The Big Come Up, many times over now and haven't gotten sick of either. 

Oh, and the whole debate Mine mentions below kind of negates itself when you read The Beatles admitted to openly pilfering riffs and licks from their favourite artists of the time.  The development of most modern musical genres has often involved magpie-ing bits from other artists and adapting them for new use, with the blues being the most prolific in this habit.  I'm eagerly looking forward to their new album, Brothers, to see what they've stolen this time.



Blues-rock.  Meh.  I can see why this album's jumped into our collection as YourZ is both fond of  the genre and has a tendency to follow producers he likes, being a producer himself.  And this was put together by Danger Mouse, who we both think is shit-hot.  But that doesn't change the fact that the songs are generally what you'd expect from any old blues-rock band playing in Generic Pub, Anywhere.

That's apart from the closing number, which absolutely staggered me.  Not because it's better than the rest of the album, which it is, but because it so blatantly rips off the Beatles' Don't Let Me Down.  Which has been pointed out on numerous Black Keys forums in the past so I won't belabour the point.  (YourZ sez: yeah, but, no, but, oh, see above...)


For more information:

In our collection we also have The Big Come Up


  1. Yourz, by any chance have you ever heard of Death From Above 1979? They were a great bass/drums duo in the early 2000s. They managed to produce a very full sound without the aid of a guitar - pretty impressive stuff.

  2. Yourzenmine, First of all..I got the package! Thank you. I am slowly devouring this album and will have feedback soon. The Black Keys this album! Great late night/enjoy the confusion of drunkenness album! Dan Auerbach's solo album from last year "Keep it Hid" is as good if not better.........they actually have a new album coming out in May called Brothers.

  3. Jeff, I've heard of them but not heard them (at least not that I know of) but as I'm writing this, I'm listening to a few of their tracks off their website and I really like what I'm hearing. Yes, this is yet another band I'm going to have to add to that ever growing list.

    Thanks for pointing them out. I'm almost certain Mine won't like DFA79 but hey, can't have everything.



  4. Seano, pleased to hear you got the package, mate. Hope you enjoy the CD as much as we do.

    I really like Auerbach's 'Keep It Hid'. He really is a bloody great talent and I'm hoping to see 'em when they tour down under next time. I mentioned 'Brothers' in my review - looking forward to hearing this one too.

    Also most keenly awaiting my copy of the new Deftones as well. Any day now...


  5. Jeff, forgot to mention - check out an Aussie band called Pivot - you might like 'em.