They say the body never lies; that it instinctively moves toward things that are good for it–and away from the things that are bad for it. That said, I’m not sure how to interpret the full-fledged hamstring cramp that temporarily paralyzed me eight minutes and 50 seconds into listening to The Black Keys’ new album, El Camino (released Dec. 3, 2011). On one hand, it rocked when–from the disc’s first bitchin’ track, “Lonely Boy”–I was compelled to leg-guitar in ways the world had never yet seen. (What’s leg guitar? Think air guitar–but cool ‘cause, instead of air, you play your own leg.) On the other hand, it sucked to find myself on the ground in a fetal position when I was just trying to jam. But man, I was a bad-ass that first eight minutes and 49 seconds–before I discovered that leg-guitaring the rest of the El Camino’s 28 minutes and 52 seconds requires a level of flexibility and physical prowess that I just don’t possess. But with smashing rock drum lines in call-to-action songs like “Gold on the Ceiling,” “Run Right Back” and “Stop Stop,” I couldn’t resist the temptation to fall into a complete ‘70s trance: physically jumping and dancing and yelling-out lyrics I don’t yet know. Though this is my (admittedly late) introduction to The Black Keys, you can call me–notwithstanding my cramped hamstring–an instant fan.
All albums reviewed in this space are available at Maui’s only record store, Requests (10 N. Market St., Wailuku, 244-9315)
The Black Keys
9 out of 11