Wednesday 30 Jul
 
 

Sobering sounds

Copperheads with Depth & Current, Dudes of America and Oblivious

10 p.m. Saturday

Opolis

113 N. Crawford Ave., Norman

opolis.org

447-3417

$7

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Pony expression

Wild Ponies

8 p.m. Sunday

The Blue Door

2805 N. McKinley Ave.

bluedoorokc.com

524-0738

$15

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Music Made Me: Josh Hogsett

Few, if any, Oklahoma bands have seen a rise as meteoric as Tallows over the past year, yet its seemingly overnight ascension didn’t happen by chance. The Oklahoma City four-piece is well-versed in the ways of modern pop songwriting, drawing from both glitchy electronica and cathartic indie rock in equal measure. Last year, the band pulled off a rare musical feat with its debut album, Memory Marrow, which was steeped heavily in the breadth of recent history yet managed to sound like nothing else before it.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Planting the seed

Chelsey Cope’s new band, Elms, is as earthy and native to Oklahoma as the trees that are their namesake. The soulful folk four-piece’s debut EP, Parallel Lines, was recorded at Bell Labs Recording Studio in Norman and is on its way in September. But the band has already given us a tease, with its first single, “Burn,” going live on SoundCloud on July 14.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Commercial rock

Center of the Universe Festival featuring Capital Cities, Young The Giant, AWOLNATION & more
Friday-Saturday
Downtown Tulsa 
centeroftheuniversefestival.com 
$35-$50 

07/22/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Reviews · Rock · The Black Keys — El Camino
Rock
 

The Black Keys — El Camino


Good job, whoever convinced Danger Mouse to loosen up a bit.

Matt Carney December 16th, 2011

Drummer and hilarious tweeter Patrick Carney recently explained DJ Danger Mouse’s (aka Brian Burton, the production half of Gnarls Barkley) role producing “El Camino,” The Black Keys’ seventh LP in nine years: “For this album, The Black Keys became a three-piece band.”

theblackkeyselcamino

It was a risky move considering the backlash that followed “Attack & Release,” the Keys’ 2008 album that many accused Burton of overproducing. I personally found his finer touches (like the banjo and piano-plinking on the drawly “Psychotic Girl”) more dramatic and fun, a refreshing departure from the rust belt-blues shtick they’d worked from the early to mid-2000s on excellent rock records like “Thickfreakness” and “Rubber Factory.”

El Camino” sounds like somebody convinced Burton to throw his tie out the window and embrace the campy bombast of “Brothers,” the band’s commercial breakthrough (they nabbed a Grammy and have recently announced a string of convention-center/arena dates).

That over-the-top silliness comes through on “El Camino” — much differently than “Brothers,” however, mostly in big-time lyrical hooks (see the ineffable charisma of “Gold on the Ceiling” and album opener “Lonely Boy”) and the absolute biggest-sounding, arena-ready blasts of prog-rock riffage Dan Auerbach’s guitar has ever produced.

Carney’s drum pounding is distinct, too, crashing through on the climax of “Little Black Submarines,” filling in the gaps left by Auerbach’s primal guitar solos. In the past, he’s been happily willing to create steady-handed (and still awesome) propulsive forces for songs like “Brothers” and “Howlin’ for You,” so it’s good to hear him flexing a bit of his well-developed rhythmic muscle.

“Nova Baby” is a weird little standout near the end of “El Camino”; it’d qualify as a synth-pop song if it weren’t for the guitar riff that’s competing for sonic real estate. I think it helped me to realize that I’m not especially wild about that synthesizer when it’s not helping the band to sound like it’s scoring some demented, three-ring circus.

With a lot of the early-2000s blues-influenced rock bands now either defunct (The White Stripes) or out of the critical spotlight (The Strokes), The Black Keys appear to be poised for a lucrative, exciting 2012. And I appear to be poised to embarrass myself pretending to play air-guitar solos on my home from work this afternoon.
 
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