The Black Keys

Attack and Release

All you ever wanted

If you pay enough attention to the lyrics with this one then it may come across as a rather cheery beat to slash your wrists to. That is until a massive drop comes in near the end to remind you that life aint so bad and you really should give milk another try…(?) As this was supposed to be a voyage of self righteousness, with me being totally justified in hating everything modern musicians can throw at me, I have to confess- this one…she’s nice.

I Got Mine

Ooooh I do like a tasty beat and this one drops you right in it. I think if there was ever a decent contender to the theme from “The Wire” then this is it. Feels very cop show- in fact behind the deliberately messy electric guitar and thuds you can almost see the gritty montage; Picturing all your favorite TV cops in various sages of a “bust” and in saturated shades of red and blue. Excuse me while I grab a gun. Thats better.

Strange Times

They do love a beat- got to admire that. I don’t even care that I can’t understand what they are saying- which as you should have guessed by now is one of my greatest bug-bears (which in itself is a horrifying creature). I can actually feel myself physically nodding my head to this one and, if placed in the right environment, may be forced to stand and wave one arm in the air as if that gesture would mean something to someone somewhere. A secret handshake into the world of cool that has managed to allude me for most of my life. Not that I’m that concerned. I’m quite happy sitting here behind my tinted glass window of success and superiority- listening to this tune. Again please.

Psychotic Girl

This is how i imagine a cross between “Twin Peaks” and a Western would sound. This soul penetrating tune would surely be playing behind the counter of every store in “Twin Dunes” -I reckon thats what they would call it as well- and I’ve got first dibs on that name. Every time I hear the chorus I imagine some bewildered fellow walking in slow motion past a shop window with an old woman eating spiders behind it. Then again I have untold issues. Eerie and compelling to listen to is this one…it has also made me fond of backwards sentences and the idea of a spin off to “Twin Peaks”. Not bad work…for a tune.


No no no no no- it was going so well boys. We have sacrificed pace and instruments for audibility of lyrics here. Call me a hypocrite but this is a sacrifice to far- given the feel of the rest of the album. I can understand the need for variety on an album- This one is slower, like a decent to madness after a massive ice cream headache, but something just doesn’t fit. The thuds aren’t helping said headache either. Depressing. He wants to die without pain, I want to eat another ice cream.

Remember when (Sides A+ B)

Don’t try and sneak another bloody track review out of me just by splitting a track into an A and B side. Hitler tried that. Didn’t fly for him, won’t fly for you Boy-o! Bit of a subdued one this one, not terrible but wouldn’t want it played at my party if you get my drift. One to listen to while outside. One of those songs that kind of gets absorbed rather than listened to. In fact I’ve written half this review without realizing it was playing.

The B side is an astonishing return to form- welcome back boys, where have you been? Good old beat- maybe this is that party version that I was longing for? Well maybe not longing, I mean I only mentioned the party a paragraph ago and it’s not like it was consuming my life. Who are you to judge anyway? See- this is what this song is capable of. It is Attitude in audible form, cue 90’s montage of things getting smashed! Hell yeah!

Same old thing

…Is anything but. This would be track 2 on my fantastical party mix. Get it started with the right over tone. It reminds me so much of another tune I’ve heard but being musically retarded I couldn’t even begin to describe to you which one it is…I guess “you know, the one with the guitar” isn’t going to cut it, is it? Rage against the machine! Thats the one- its got the same sort of feel- just with a very different vocal styling, but i guarantee you- start screaming over the top of the instrumental of this and it would be like Rage are in the room with you…eating your custard creams and stealing your buss fare.

So He Won’t Break

…Yep. I like it. Has the feel of a Cohen Brothers film. In fact I can imagine it in “the Big Lebowski” quite nicely. Would fit well with another bowling sued o dream like sequence…because one is never enough. Very western feel to it. Lovely. Word. Sup.

Oceans And Streams

Is it me or does this one change speed throughout? Like a tape recorder running out of batteries. Could be my imagination – or the fall but it feels like thats what it’s doing. Im in no way saying that in a negative way. Just as a mater of observation. It’s getting difficult to come up with different ways to praise these songs- they certainly seem to be hitting the right spot with me. Old meets…well old really. Bar tunes I guess you would say- but film bar tunes. Where you know it’s not actually playing in the bar- its just there to set the mood that “this is a bar and someone important is going to smash another important guy in the face quite soon”.

Things Aint Like They Used To Be

Movie Credits time! As I said in the last review there has to be a song that would fit well with the closing credits of a film- and this is it. Only in this film all the characters in it would have been diagnosed with some fatal illness or been wiped out in a town fire at the end. The title says it all…Things aint like they used to be…you used to be alive.

Album sum up

Well this has been an interesting one. Tapping into my inner soft spot for old time american montage music and then sealing the hole behind using salt with a couple of slit your wrist specials. All in all though I like their style. You could do worse than take a leaf out of the Black Keys book, modern music, as their pages are ripe with reach lesions to be learned in song writing and musical accomplishment. Apart from pages 9-11 which have poo on them.


  • Great Beats
  • Catchy “bob you head” tunes.
  • Feel “Like a man” while listening.


  • Lies.
  • Style can wander
  • Faint whiff of cheese.


8 / 10