The Black Keys | Brothers (Nonesuch)

This could be the record that puts the Black Keys headlining arenas worldwide; they have the skills to be as big as the White Stripes.

Some bands are just made for driving around late on a muggy Midwestern night. The thumping drums match up with the slapping sounds of mosquitoes meeting their maker. The fuzz filled guitars and wailing vocals match the warm, wet air meeting your face as it flows in through the car window.

This summer that band is Akron, Ohio’s the Black Keys, and that album is Brothers.

If you haven’t gotten a ticket to their upcoming show at the Pageant… it’s too late now, no tickets remain. The closest you can get to drummer Patrick Carney’s gloriously powerful broad skill set and Dan Auerbach’s old school and new school blues will be located within these 15 tracks.  The band immediately invites you to “Let me be your everlasting light / Your sun when there is none / I’m a shepherd for you / And I’ll guide you through.” Count me in! Lead singer Dan Auerbach reaches his highest recorded vocals here and it sounds oh so sweet, My Morning Jacket-esque.

Possibly no one is as good at saying so much with so little. “Next Girl” is the perfect example of this. Not much more need be said than “My next girl / will be nothing like my, ex girl / I made mistakes back then / I’ll never do it again.” What else is there to say? Nothing. Most can relate to those words on an immensely personal level and feel Auerbach’s pain. Isn’t that what the blues is about?

If your looking for a more in-the-moment type of tune, “Howlin’ for You,” which combines Gary Glitter style drumbeats along with baseball references, might be the love jam of the summer. The guitars buzz around your ear drum and probably should be obnoxious but it’s hard not to listen on repeat.

It doesn’t get more old school than “Ten Cent Pistol” or “Sinister Kid.” The first being the tale of a “jealous heart,” the latter would put a grin on the devil’s face as it slides around Auerbachs guitars. One could easily imagine hearing this one in a dark strip club or maybe a Quentin Tarantino themed bar.

Brothers could easily be the record that puts the Black Keys headlining arenas worldwide, and they have the skills to be as big as the White Stripes. However, it really doesn’t get as good as experiencing these guys in a small sweaty venue and then walking out into the aforementioned warm summer night air, so to those lucky enough to procure tickets or be seeing them elsewhere this summer, be prepared to sweat, sing and jump around as much as the duo of Auerbach & Carney will be onstage. | Bruce Matlock

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