steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Black Keys

"The Moan" CD single

Alive Records

Genres: blues rock

Alive Records
POB 7112
Burbank CA 91510

June 21 - 27 2004

On this single, The Black Keys bring us two originals - the title track, as well as "Heavy Soul" - before having their way with The Stooges' "No Fun" and Richard Berry's "Have Love Will Travel."  Although this brief disc doesn't really leave any particularly notable impression, it is a nice little snippet of The Black Keys' sound.

The title-track is a gritty, rocking slab of garage blues that could actually garner some decent radio playlist attention (despite a lack of a memorable chorus), although "Heavy Soul" is a bit of a disappointment.  Although it's a pretty decent tune, the poor recording (an alternate version from the one that appeared on The Black Keys's debut album) completely fails to pick up on the band's best asset - its dynamic energy.

As far as the covers go, The Black Keys fare pretty well.  "No Fun" works remarkably well with the band's standard bluesy approach, while "Have Love Will Travel" (done in a similar fashion to The Sonics' version) is made even better by the gross misuse of whatever tape player recorded it.

The Moan isn't perfect, but for Black Keys aficionados it is surely worth the dough.  Others may want to save their cash for the band's next album. 


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]