In the fickle times that today’s music industry exists within, it’s all too easy for a single LP to be the high point of a band’s career. Yet having reached their seventh album, Ohio rock outfit The Black Keys have perfected their sound, and against all odds, proved they’re here to stay. Admittedly there’s a certain moment proceeding the making of a killer album (as 2010 release Brothers is commonly touted) when the dreaded question must be asked; “Now what?” Well, if you’re The Black Keys, the answer is ‘do it again’. With opening track ‘Lonely Boy’ (the video to which has already reached meme status) seducing listeners from the first second with its delicious riff, the album starts strong. Almost a little too strong, as it heightens expectations for the rest of the tracks. But despite this minor disappointment, it’s clear this album is the strongest release from the Keys yet. The boys have decisively stuck to their strengths, understanding that slow-paced music makes for a boring live show, with 11 tracks of upbeat, handclapping, foot tapping, and body shaking rock. To be fair this is a double-edged sword as there is an undeniable ‘sameness’ running throughout the album, but the absence of filler more than makes up for monotony. This album will more than satisfy fans of The Black Keys. Each track is catchy, as well as musically and lyrically clever, proving that musical maturity needn’t equate to a pretentious super album. Instead El Camino is predictable, but a heck lot fun. Like any decent rock album should be.
LISTEN TO: ‘Lonely Boy’, ‘Gold On The Ceiling’, ‘Little Black Submarines’, ‘Hell of a Season’
IF YOU LIKE THIS YOU’LL DIG: The White Stripes, Blakroc, The Dead Weather
Find no frills gool ol rock music @ theblackkeys.com.