Chosen by Clarkey

INTRO (from Wiki)

Rubber Factory is the third studio album by American rock duo The Black Keys. It was self-produced by the band and was released on September 7, 2004, on Fat Possum Records. The album was recorded in an abandoned tire-manufacturing factory in the group’s hometown of Akron, Ohio. Rubber Factory received positive reviews and was the band’s first album to chart on the Billboard 200 in the United States, reaching number 143.



Ice – “I never heard of these before so I had no idea what to expect. I didn’t like the first song, the recurring noise in the background annoyed me so I was fearing the worst for this album. Thankfully 10 A.M. Automatic came along and after the verbal I said ‘Oh yeah, that’s more like it’! Good music and vocals, more my type of tune!
Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down has a nice intro, I’m a fan of the strong lead guitar throughout. The guitar riff on All Hands Against His Own is cool and the drum in the background was class. I love the guitar interlude between the vocals too, great song!
Vocals on The Desperate Man reminded me of Beck’s Devil’s Haircut. I like the lyrics, easy listening.
The girl in Girl Is on My Mind must not have been delish as this didn’t leave an impression. The last few songs kinda gelled into each other for me so The Lengths was a nice pit-stop. I like this one, got to hear his voice more, lovely lyrics.
Grown so Ugly – WTF! Boom, what a start to a song! This could be my new morning anthem! Loved the guitar and the lyrics on this one. They we very clever putting this after the slow one for max impact!
Stack Shot Billy got my foot stomping, lovely guitar work, good tune! Act Nice and Gentle, indeed it was! Easy listening and would put ya in a good mood. I had the chorus in my head for a while after.
Aeroplane Blues gets the no. 1 spot for me! What a cool tune, got the head noddin’. I like they way it crawls then it ramps up to fast heavy guitar. Keep Me was another cool/funky tune, I like the guitar throughout this one. Till I Get My Way is a good tune, again the guitar riff was class, it got me humming to the guitar melody.
This album brought me to an American bar in the back of nowhere, having a beer with friends around a small wooden table, relaxing with no worries. Not my genre but a pretty cool album with some songs I will defo play again so thanks for putting these on my radar Clarkey.”

Mick – “I only knew a few songs of theirs from that El Camino album a few years back and they never really caught my attention enough to investigate them more so was glad ya put this up.
I actually quite liked the opener When the Lights Go Out – that rolling repetitive blues guitar was great, bit of a change of pace at some stage might have helped but also might have killed why I liked it.
Found 10 A.M. Automatic alright but didn’t blow me away at all. All Hands Against His Own was interesting and I liked this one, really cool change in tempo at the 2 minute mark, sweet baseline.
There were quite a few songs that were ‘meh’ for me. The likes of The Desperate Man and Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down kinda did nothing for me. The Lengths seems completely outta place but the one thing I liked about it was it showed he has a really nice voice, really unique but the problem for me is you can’t hear it over the whinging, whiny guitar on most of the songs. Obviously that’s their sound but would have been nice to hear his voice a little more.
There really is a crossover of blues/rock/country off this album. Stack Shot Billy and Act Nice and Gentle showed these elements the most. I did like Keep Me – had a cool riff throughout, nice and simple but effective. Probably my favourite was Grown so Ugly. The lyrics are really funny and I actually like the big guitar on this.
I completely get why this is up your street Clarkey (very guitar driven) but it didn’t get me at all. The 4/5 times I listened to it nothing constantly jumped out at me and for an album with so much guitar based songs, only really two had riffs that made them stand out from the otherwise drowning guitar the whole way through.
Wouldn’t be rushing back to it but wouldn’t turn it off if it came on. Very torn with whether I like them or not but defo don’t love them that’s for sure.”

Spud – “Like Mick, El Camino and specifically Lonely Boy was all I remembered of them. That was a great song and I was expecting more of that. I didn’t really get it.
I thought the opening song was ok, but nothing special. The next few songs (and others later) then go down a kinda Jimi Hendrix route or something. I actually thought 10 A.M. Automatic was like All Right Now by Free. Those twanging electric guitar strings and crashing drum cymbals just wasn’t really for me.
The second half of the album had some more calm songs which I liked. The Lengths is a nice song to sit back and relax to. Stack Shot Billy was decent too, and I enjoyed Act Nice and Gentle. If The Black Keys had heeded their own advice and acted more nice and gentle, it would have made for a better album in my opinion.”

Molly – “I enjoyed this album. I’m a fan of Dan Auerbach (love his song Shine On Me). I didn’t realize he was in The Black Keys. I do like a lot of their songs, but they tend to be in the same key/chord progression/fuzz pedal effects. Defo some songs to skip over but some nice tunes too. I wouldn’t be disappointed listening to their best of I’m sure. Best tunes for me were Aeroplane Blues, Act Nice and Gentle and Till I Get My Way. Overall I’d say 7.5 out of 10.”

E.P. – “I’d be the same as most on this Clarkey, only gets a ‘meh’ for me. I agree with Ice about the opener – it’s not that it’s a bad song, just shouldn’t be a lead off for the album. I actually can’t think of any track that particularly jumped out for me. It was all a bit samey samey. Agree with Spud, definite Hendrix vibe in there on a couple of the songs.”

Sol – “From the start I thought this is a band I’m gonna like, having never heard one song of theirs. However, as the album went on, I found myself loving parts of it but some of the songs either went on too long or mashed into each other. Similar to a few of the comments, I hear a lot of Jimi influences but Lenny Kravitz and Deep Purple too. I love my guitar playing but I think the emphasis on big guitar riffs was too much at times.
Totally agree with Spud, 10 A.M. Automatic is a rip off of Free.
Really enjoyed Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down, his vocals are very similar to Lenny in this one, the arrangement sorta reminded me of a few of Rory Gallagher’s songs also, which is never a bad thing.
The Lengths is probably my favourite song on this album. I found it stood out for obvious reasons and the slower pace was a nice break and we actually get to focus on his voice, love the slid guitar throughout.
The album didn’t bowl me over but I certainly enjoyed parts of it and have saved a few of the songs for when I’m in the mood for heavy guitars. Cheers for putting it up as I don’t think I would have gone and listened to them otherwise.”

Agree/disagree? Let us know in the comments below


  • Act Nice and Gentle
  • Aeroplane Blues


The Lion and The Cobra by Sinéad O’Connor

Listen along with us for the week and check out our reviews next Sunday!

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