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Rubber Factory

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Editors’ Notes

The Black Keys branch out on their third release. The songwriting on Rubber Factory is sharper, there’s more sonic variety, and all of their influences can be heard. The blues remain the foundation, but garage rock and shades of gritty R&B also erupt from their overheated amps. The Keys still stomp and shake like mad; they build on the ferocious attack of their first two releases, with Dan Auerbach’s heavy licks and Patrick Carney’s funky snare and cymbal shots as powerful as ever. Filthy hooks abound: just check out “10 A.M. Automatic,” “Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down,” and the slide guitar–driven “The Desperate Man” for starters. And for the first time in their discography, they deliver a ballad: “The Lengths,” a haunting track that combines acoustic guitar, lap steel, and unexpectedly tender vocals. The song also offers the space to take a breath, a dynamic luxury not available on The Big Come Up or Thickfreakness. Their spacious take on The Kinks’ “Act Nice and Gentle” is another surprise, and it's further proof that Auerbach is one dynamite singer. Three albums in, and The Black Keys are just getting better.

Customer Reviews

Impressive Overall.

Successful blending of Blues, Classic Rock, Folk, and Funk is apparent throughout this band's collection. If you like old-style crunch guitar sounds rife with riffing, I definitely recommend the Key's work. Although this album is very well-done in itself, I personally prefer their first album, "The Big Come Up." I'm basing that preference upon my liking for funk/bluesish-style guitar. The aged-quality vocals are a nice touch, but I'de be interested in hearing this kind of music with modern-edge vocals and more intricate lyrical work.

Rubber Factory

Iove this band. its great! best song is the lengths. Its emotional and soft. I love it

My First Review

You've got to love their sound. It's sharp, original and pure rock and roll baby.


Formed: 2001 in Akron, OH

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

It's too facile to call the Black Keys counterparts of the White Stripes: they share several surface similarities — their names are color-coded, they hail from the Midwest, they're guitar-and-drum blues-rock duos — but the Black Keys are their own distinct thing, a tougher, rougher rock band with a purist streak that never surfaced in the Stripes. But that's not to say that the Black Keys are blues traditionalists: even on their 2002 debut, The Big Come Up, they covered the Beatles' psychedelic...
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