Something Else! sneak peek: The Black Keys, "Lonely Boy" (2011)

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The Black Keys return with a grimy, fast-moving rock number that gasses up the deep-blues atmosphere of their breakout release Brothers.

“Lonely Boy,” from the duo’s forthcoming Dec. 6 release El Camino, is all distortion and thwacking rhythm — the sound of a rod-throwing drag race, with a guitar signature that rattles, groans and grinds. This crashing immediacy is all the more jarring for anyone looking for a redo of “Tighten Up” or “Howling For You,” a pair of Grammy-winning, R&B-inflected numbers that helped Brothers to gold record status in 2010.

Instead, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney returned to the studio with producer Danger Mouse — but also a different sound in mind. Eschewing last year’s blaxploitation grooves and ghostly new Curtis Mayfield-esque vocals, “Lonely Boys” instead boasts the brash attitude, the serrated riffs and sing-along hooks of a great lost side by the Clash.

The Black Keys’ Brothers was one of Something Else! Reviews’ most decorated releases of 2010, receiving notice from four of our writers — S. Victor Aaron, Mark Saleski, Tom Johnson and, of course, yours truly — and then, perhaps inevitably, appearing on our composite album of the year list.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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