The Black Keys - Rubber Factory
Label: Fat Possum Records
Format: Vinyl, LP, Picture Disc
Released: 19 Jan 2010
Style: Blues Rock
Credits: Artwork By - Michael Carney
Drums, Percussion, Handclaps, Recorded By - Patrick Carney
Guitar, Violin [Fiddle], Guitar [Lap Steel], Vocals, Handclaps - Dan Auerbach
Mastered By - Greg Calbi
Producer, Mixed By - Black Keys, The
Songwriter - Black Keys, The (tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 11 to 13)
Notes: Recorded at Sentient Sound Jan-May 2004 in Akron, Ohio.
Mastered at Sterling Sound.
A1 When The Lights Go Out 3:24
A2 10 A.M. Automatic 2:59
A3 Just Couldn't Tie Me Down 2:58
A4 All Hands Against His Own 3:17
A5 The Desperate Man 3:54
A6 Girl Is On My Mind 3:28
B1 The Lengths 4:55
B2 Grown So Ugly
Songwriter – Robert Pete Williams 2:28
B3 Stack Shot Billy 3:22
B4 Act Nice And Gentle
Songwriter – Raymond Douglas Davies* 2:42
B5 Aeroplane Blues 2:51
B6 Keep Me 2:52
B7 Till I Get My Way 2:31
After an explosive debut album and a mellower sophomore effort, Akron duo The Black Keys roar back in 2010 with "Rubber Factory", a passionate, catchy, masterpiece that proves these guys are for real.
In their third album in as many years, the Keys press ahead with their revival of the long-sputtering genre of blues rock. Having rejected a major record label and signed instead with blues authority Fat Possum, the Keys stay true to their fuzzed-out demo-tape sound, recording the album in an abandoned tire factory, with drummer Patrick Carney producing the songs on his trusty 4-track (or did they graduate to 8-track by now?). Topping both their previous efforts, "Rubber Factory" does not have a single bad song. It is actually difficult to pick the best ones because they are ALL so good.
Unlike "The Big Come Up" and "Thickfreakness", though, "Rubber Factory" starts off in low gear with the mellow "When the Lights Go Out". Things get pumped up right after that with what is undoubtedly the catchiest song they've done yet -- "10 a.m. Automatic". This song is so fun and addictive it takes a conscious exertion of will not to just play it over and over.
The nice mellow ride of "Just Couldn't Tie Me Down" recalls a bit of the juke joint feel so prevalent on "Thickfreakness". The next three tracks -- "All Hands Against His Own", "The Desperate Man" and "Girl Is On My Mind" -- form a trio of catchy, classic-rock style tunes. Things mellow out a bit for a sugary ballad, "The Lengths", but get kicked right back up with "Grown So Ugly", a jammin' and hard-hitting rock number. "Stack Shot Billy" is a wonderful electric-slide resurrection of the outlaw song, and shows that these guys know their source material. "Aeroplane Blues" and "Keep Me" are other straight-out sonic assaults that will put a crooked smile on the face of anyone with an ounce of blues running in their veins.
The album closes with a real bang -- the energetic "Till I Get My Way". The crunch of Auerbach's guitar and Carney's head-bobbing tattoo meld into some of the best jamming they've yet displayed.
"Rubber Factory" is a nearly flawless piece of work that should have no problem standing the test of time. I hope these guys are having as much fun making this music as I am listening to it. I already can't wait until the next one...
The Black Keys - Girl Is on My Mind
The Black Keys @ The Palais, Melbourne, Australia, 11 January 2009