The Black Keys have been on a roll recently. Their 2010 album Brothers debuted at Number 3 on the Billboard Charts, they won a GRAMMY for Best Alternative Music Album and have been featured in countless advertisements. The duo show no signs of slowing down any time soon. They recently announced (via a hilarious video that features Bob Odenkirk) that their new album, El Camino, will be released on December 6th of this year. The Keys’s brand of blues-infused rock is a breath of fresh air to the mainstream music scene that has been dominated by synth pop recently. So, in honor of their recent success, we here at Vs. decided to compare them to one of OurStage’s best blues rock bands, Lloyd’s Garage.
Just like The Black Keys, Lloyd’s Garage is a duo comprised of a guitarist/singer and a drummer. However, having a small band actually works to their advantage, using raw energy to make up for the lack of other instruments. “Blackbird” illustrates a few similarities between the two groups. The song begins with a distorted, bluesy riff that repeats itself throughout the song. Since Lloyd’s Garage does not have a bass player, this riff acts as both the melodic and rhythmic basis on which the song is built. This is a technique that The Black Keys have been using for years, and it is a major factor in how they can write such great songs with only two members. But the biggest similarity between the two bands might be the vocals. Both Seth Heitzmann (Lloyd’s Garage) and Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) have great rock and roll voices. Heitzmann’s voice shares Auerbach’s soulful bluesy snarl, but with a slightly lower pitch. Nevertheless, Heitzmann still has a pretty incredible rang,e and he always seems to hit the right note.
The Napa region of California is known for its viticulture. True story. But the area’s equally fertile when it comes to musical exports. Lloyd’s Garage hails from Napa, and, like a fine Sauvignon Blanc, delivers a mineral blast that shocks the palette with two simple ingredients: guitars and drums. The duo, made up of Seth Heitzmann and Lloyd Llewelyn, channels the no-frills, feral energy of late ˜60s garage rock. Their choice of instruments alone garners comparisons to White Stripes and Black Keys. But it’s a fair shake. Queue up No Victim for an onslaught of wiry guitars, thrashing drums and the electric snarl of Heitzmann’s vocals. Even though Oh Lovely deals with a fatal car crash, the song is less a requiem and more a soulful, clanging revival. Why mourn the dead when you can wake them? Return To Sender echoes the sentiment. Guitars chug, drums stomp and strut and cymbals crash. Lloyd’s Garage likes to give their listeners a licking. But trust us, it’s one you’ll love.