By Ivan Serna, John I. Leonard High School, Lake Worth, Florida
Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” Patrick Carney told Rolling Stone magazine. He and Dan Auerbach, better known as the Black Keys, are well on their way to making that title their own, and unlike Nickelback, they thoroughly deserve it.
Grammys, a huge growing following, amazing live shows (if you haven’t seen them perform you’re seriously missing out), and with the release of El Camino, what maybe the best album of their decade long career, it seems like they finally cemented their position at the top of Mount Rockmore.
The difference between the albums is that Brothers is an album written by men content on being indie darlings whereEl Camino was written by a band trying to pack the biggest venues in the world, and it shows considering they are headliners for music festivals like Coachella and selling out Madison Square Garden (maximum capacity over 19000) in 15 minutes. With huge arena packing hooks like “Lonely Boy’s” Ooooh! OH! OH! It’s easy to imagine thousands of people singing along to El Camino.
El Camino is like the soundtrack to a cheesy old Starsky and Hutch type movie but in the most awesome way possible if that makes sense. It sounds like it was meant to be made in 1974. Heavy but pop accessible at the same, it’s easy to imagine being the background music to a retro bank robbery shoot out: thieves in ski masks and leather jackets taking shots at cops with aviators and massive mustaches hiding behind muscle cars. It’s a perfect match to songs like “Money Maker” and “Mind Eraser” with the aggressive guitars and Patrick smacking the drums like he never has before. You can almost smell the burnt rubber from the getaway car.
In 37 minutes the Black Keys tap into a lot of different styles and sounds from the R&B tweaked “Stop, Stop,” to their amazing rendition of “Stairway to Heaven” in the constantly building “Little Black Submarine,” but the album’s peak has to be “Gold on the Ceiling.” A blues-rock stomp, that pounds on your ears like an army marching to war. Paranoid lyrics delivered by Dan’s howl accompanied by 60s sounding backup singers. A wall of guitars with a relentless groove, drive the song with Patrick filling in the gaps by smashing his symbols and snare like a Sunday school teacher does a naughty student’s bottom.
The Crown of rock is resting upon their heads for good reason. Packing arenas and making albums like El Camino. The Keys mash up a lot of different bands on this LP, from Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to the Clash and The Beatles, but it is 100% The Black Keys. A raw blues edge with a kick your teeth in attitude made this album one of the best to come out in a long time. Bow to the kings everyone.the original article from hsj.org, written by Ivan Serna