The Black Keys "Rubber Factory" - The 3rd full-length put out by the Akron, OH duo showcasing a little more variety than their previous albums. Of course there are plenty of songs with their trademark rough raw overblown guitar with minimal drums and vocals, both recorded relatively lo-fi. You can hear the heavy Mississippi blues influences in their stuff (very similar to Junior Kimbrough), but this time they try to branch out and play music with a little more country flavor and less distortion on some tracks. Personally I don't think the variation adds much. When the "bad recording" techniques go away you tend to hear their weaknesses a lot more, especially in the weak vocals. Their traditional tracks are still right on. Loud, overblown, and raunchy. Check it out.
My Picks: 3, 5, 6, 8, 12
Katie P. 9/13/04
1) Slow pounding drums. Guitar comes in with a laid-back western slide. Vocals are slightly distorted. Has a western/swampy feel to it. Dragging moody slow tempo.
2) Fast midtempo with rockin' guitar. Vocals are less distorted, but not too slick. Tough guitar during chorus. Lots of guitar layers and a nice fat solo in there at the end.
3) Starts with some guitar noodling and goes into a fast midtempo rockin' blues riff. Vocals are rough with some more distortion on them. Again some good guitar layering and nice handclaps too.
4) Guitar kicks it off with a tough raw riff. Solid midtempo with slower bits. Vocals are still a little rough, but the recording of them is clearer.
5) Solid midtempo drums with a great blues guitar. Vocals are distorted and a little tinny. Raw overblown guitar layers at times. Laid-back and cool.
6) Groovy midtempo with a bluesy/rock feel to it. Rough and ragged guitar that is way overblown at points. Rough vocals.
7) Slower blues/country/western feel. I think this is slide or lap steel guitar here. Hmm... now it really sounds like some alterna-rock ballad. Vocals are not distorted at all, which isn't necessarily good. He's not a strong singer.
8) Tough ragged and raw! Midtempo with sharp hits and stops until it finally gets into a solid blues groove. Nice!
9) Starts kind of slow without a beat, just noodling blues guitar. Falls into a solid midtempo groove. Story of Stacker Lee (or Staggerlee or Stackolee, etc.) and Billy. Not one of the million covers I've heard, but the same story.
10) Dragging midtempo with a country feel to it. Vocals aren't very distorted here either. Kind of a cute and happy feel.
11) Fades in to a tough beat and guitar. Solid midtempo groove. Slows at points and has moments where it gets louder and then quieter again. Raw guitar layers.
12) Raw and rough blues guitar starts it off. Drums fade in to a nice solid midtempo beat. Ragged vocals.
13) Overblown raw fuzzy guitar kicks it off to a nice solid midtempo beat. Slight bounce to it. Fun!