Blues-rockers Black Keys branch out on new album

Sat Mar 1, 2008 6:12pm EST
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NEW YORK (Billboard) - The Black Keys, the Ohio duo famed for their hard-hitting blues-influenced rock'n'roll, charge into new sonic territory on their fifth album, "Attack & Release," which is due in stores April 1.

The 11-track Nonesuch Records set was produced by Gnarls Barkley member Danger Mouse and recorded at Cleveland's Suma Studio, the Black Keys' first time tracking outside their own Akron-based facilities.

Fans of the Keys' traditional sound will feel most at home on the 141-second stomper "Remember When (Side B)," which features a ripping Dan Auerbach guitar solo.

But nearly every other track is enhanced by novel production and instrumental elements, including the banjo- and organ-flecked opener "All You Ever Wanted," the rave up "Strange Times," which features piano and ghostly backing vocals, and the bare-bones "Same Old Thing," which sports bongo drums and flute.

Elsewhere, the Keys hone in on the slower side of the blues, particularly on the off-kilter "Psychotic Girl" and the slide guitar- and organ-laden closer "Things Ain't Like They Used To Be," a duet with Auerbach and his protegee, Jessica Lea Mayfield.

Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney will begin a spring North American tour March 27 in Tucson, Ariz. The group will also play at the annual South by Southwest festival and conference in Austin, Texas (March 12-16).