When the Black Keys coughed up their debut album, The Massive Come Up, precisely 20 years in the past this week, the sensible cash positively wasn’t on them being the slow-and-steady victors of the early 2000s garage-rock rat race. Launched on psych/punk speciality label Alive Data, The Massive Come Up offered a camera-shy duo that needed nothing to do with the thrift-store stylish of the Strokes, the theatrical myth-making of the White Stripes, or the hammy showmanship of the Hives. In comparison with their youthful, extra photogenic friends filling up the pages of SPIN and NME, singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney already seemed like grizzled outdated males content material to spend their evenings bashing away on Muddy Waters requirements and de-psychedelized Beatles covers of their basement, with no ambitions past recreating the sound of a crackly AM radio caught between two stations.
Nevertheless, whereas these aforementioned acts succumbed to extended hiatuses, break-ups, or failed Pharrell collaborations, the Black Keys’ proverbial junkyard beater was progressively tricked out into an auto-show-worthy muscle automobile, full with hydraulic wheels and neon beneath siding. With the wham-bam Grammy-scooping double shot of 2010’s Brothers and 2011’s El Camino, the Keys totally rewired the sound of recent rock radio over the subsequent decade, uniting wayward factions of 78-collecting blues traditionalists, frat boys, neosoul lovers, Southern rock die-hards, getting older hipsters, and their teenage youngsters buying their first guitars. Now, after exhausting each play within the post-success playbook—the detour into cinematic psychedelia, the reactionary return to FM radio fundamentals, the covers album hat-tip to their roots—the Black Keys have lastly achieved the last word marker of classic-rock sainthood: the posh of coasting into center age, coupled with the informal assurance that the arenas and amphitheaters will nonetheless be packed it doesn’t matter what they put out.
Fittingly, the band’s eleventh album arrives roughly on the similar level within the Keys’ profession because the Stones have been at within the mid-’80s, when Mick and Keith turned much less involved with chasing the zeitgeist and simply settled into doing what comes naturally. Dropout Boogie could share its identify with a traditional Beefheart minimize, however the good Captain’s corrupting affect doesn’t lengthen previous the document backbone—the Keys’ first album of originals since 2019’s “Let’s Rock” may’ve simply been titled “Let’s Roll.” After recruiting members of Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside’s backing bands for final yr’s Mississippi-blues retreat Delta Kream, the Keys carried that collaborative spirit over to Dropout Boogie, opening up their artistic course of to a workforce of visitor songwriters for the primary time. Definitely, the Black Keys are among the many few bands on the planet with the each the star energy and underground pedigree to corral garage-punk lifer Greg Cartwright (Oblivians, Reigning Sound), Nashville hitmaker Angelo Petraglia (Trisha Yearwood, Taylor Swift, Kings of Leon), and ZZ High legend Billy Gibbons onto their document. Nevertheless, on this case, just a few drops of latest blood right here and there can’t preserve the Keys from reverting to a number of the identical outdated usual.