A Catchy Riff

Remember the time when the boys in the neighbourhood used to gather in their parents’ garage and jam

Written by Prajakta Hebbar | Published: March 10, 2012 2:54:01 am

Remember the time when the boys in the neighbourhood used to gather in their parents’ garage and jam? Seven albums and 10 years later,The Black Keys still remind us of that underground rock ‘n’ roll,only this time,with a hint of pop.

The two-member band from Ohio,which started its musical journey the old-school way (a social outcast meets a soccer team captain,they start a band after dropping out of college,travel the country with their music,until they make it big),is still drawing inspiration from the underground music movement of the 2000s.

Continuing from where The Black Keys left off in their last album Brothers (2010),their latest album,El Camino,goes a step ahead,being a mishmash of ‘70s rock,contemporary pop and soul. The album begins with Lonely boy,a foot-tapping number accompanied by a very ‘60s groove — electric guitar,kitschy beats and synthesiser. Dead and gone has the potential to stick in your head — with thumping beats,simple (but catchy) guitar riffs and a whole lot of “whoa-ohs” and “na-naas”. The next track Gold on the ceiling is a made-to-order song that can feature in any high-school/college flick,with sing-along-type lyrics and clapping and tapping in the background.

Little black submarines is a slow number in which Dan Auerbach (vocalist/guitarist) goes Country,with soft-guitar picking accompanied by gentle vocals. But the Led Zeppelin-esque part of the song,with the funky guitar riffs,takes too long to come. While Run right back is a bluesy track,with irresistible syncopating guitar riffs,Sister is a synthesiser-dominated song with Aretha Franklin-like lyrics directed towards a broken-hearted woman. Nova baby is another highlight of the album for all the ‘70s retro- fans with its powerful vocals,and strong beats,dripping with worldly (and obvious) truths like “all your enemies smile when you fall/ And you take it ‘cause you don’t know what you want”.

The band has always been about the music,than the meaning. So don’t look for soul-stirring lyrics; just shake a leg to this fun,upbeat album,which will remind you of something that you have forgotten.

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