Few critics could contest that The Black Keys success is undeserved. And, as the Akron-duo releases its seventh studio album, to what is undoubtedly the highest point in a career now spanning ten years, they’ve arguably produced their best work to date.
With influences ranging from the likes of The Cramps and T-Rex to rockabilly Johnny Burnette Trio, the result is a heavy dose of 50’s rock ‘n’ roll with an injection of 70’s edge, all laced over the original bluegrass melodies.
Produced by man of the moment, Danger Mouse, the sound remains unmistakably Black Keys but adds further dimensions to what is already a winning mix. The outcome? The pair has successfully fulfilled their promise of becoming one of the biggest bands in the world.
While maintaining a startling pace, that is somewhat unprecedented on previous records, El Camino is all about the journey that Dan Auerbach and Pat Carney have taken to get where they are today – the cover depicts the car that the two originally toured the States in – but in many ways is far more aligned with the road that lays ahead. After Brothers was lauded by both critics and sales alike (and awarded heavily) the stage is set for The Black Keys to take it to the next level – and they’ll be travelling their with El Camino. Clash somehow imagines that they’ll be touring in slightly more luxurious surroundings from now on.
Words by SAM BALLARD