ARTIST: The Black Keys
TITLE: The Big Come Up
YEAR RELEASED: 2002
CHART ACTION: None
SINGLES: Leavin’ Trunk
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: They cover She Said, She Said.
LINEUP: Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney. Gabe Fulvimar plays moog bass on four tracks.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Blues-rock duo records first album in Carney’s basement. It sounded raw, but exciting all the same and got them a new record contract on a bigger label.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Sometimes simplicity is the best thing. After forming as a duo because Auerbach’s backing band didn’t show for a demo session, the Black Keys recorded this debut album in Carney’s basement studio.
It’s a record that either covers the blues, or creates new variations on familiar blues riffs and tropes. The scuzzy sound helps the atmosphere of the record, which sounds like it’s recorded in the basement of a smoky club at about 2 in the morning for the true fanatics (or the drunks).
Since this was on a tiny label with little distribution, it only really served to get them gigs and a better record deal. For that, mission accomplished. It’s pretty enjoyable end to end, except the last track has a way too long silence before a hidden track, and “Heavy Soul” has a flown-in guitar part that sounds like it just came from Neptune out-of-sync and then just disappeared.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: This was recorded on an eight-track recorder.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: The vinyl version has an extra track (a cover of the Stooges’ “No Fun”) and a different running order.
GRADE: B+: A couple of mis-steps but if you like scuzzy blues then pick this up.