What’s the Deal? With Gnarls Barkley’s Danger Mouse at the production helm, the Black Keys’ fifth album, Attack & Release, swaps the power duo’s trademark lo-fi for a taste of the hi. This is not the mud-slinging, runaway pick-up blues truck you whipped bottles at back on 2003’s Thick Freakness or 2006’s Magic Potion. Nor a soulful return to the Mississippi Delta banks of debut The Big Come Up.”Psychotic Girl” with its uber-clean slides, trip-hop pace and eerie gospel back-up choruses should be on St. Elsewhere, and “Remember When (Side A)” opens with a drum machine and a theremin. But before you get pissy, fans of yore, avert your ears to outlier “I Got Mine” (QUICKTIME | WINDOWS MEDIA) for pure analog fury, complete with off-mic yelps.
Who? Small town Ohioans Dan Auerbach (vocals and guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums) trimmed lawns as college dropouts before a botched edging job cost them their employment. But by that time their Midwestern snarl had already been unleashed, and tours were taking shape.
Fun Fact: The duo take their name from a schizophrenic artist who used the phrase to label people who “weren’t quite right.”
On the Web: theblackkeys.com