Mail-order CatalogueSelected Artists The Black Keys

THE BIG COME UP was the Black Keys debut album and the start of their career. "The album was a visceral statement, recorded in an Akron basement on a 16 track digi recorder by drummer Pat Carney. Many fans have ascribed an almost mythological value to this album. THE BIG COME UP has elements of all their future releases - hip hop (samples), blues, pop, heavy fuzz and soul - for which they will become popularly known to represent." - The Black Keys Fan Lounge

In the early years of the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach collaborated with Alive Naturalsound records, producing, and often playing, on records by The Buffalo Killers ("Let It Ride"), Radio Moscow ("s/t"), Black Diamond Heavies ("A Touch Of Someone Else's Class"), SSM, Brimstone Howl, Nathaniel Mayer, and Hacienda.

They're not cool; they're just brilliant. – Dean Kuipers / LA TIMES

If you're not hooked by the time Dan Auerbach finger-picks his way into the whining guitar groove of opener Busted, then the delivery of his sandpaper vocal drawl - ably assisted by Patrick Carney's whiplash drumming and "medium fidelity" production - will assure you that, in the US Midwest, they still keep their blues traditionally bottled. And therein lies the key to The Black Keys' brilliance - the ability to make exciting new tunes sound raw and well-travelled, without falling into lame pastiche or parody. - Ross Bennett / MOJO

There's nothing sweet or fey about the Black Keys; Auerbach has the kind of raspy, dark voice that's made for this sort of music. And the music? It's raw, greasy, scorching, harsh: You could fry bacon on the CD's surface. - Jay Babcock / LA WEEKLY

Akron has spawned the most compelling two-piece, hyper-primitive, blues-based rock band of the last five years. - Chuck Klosterman / The VILLAGE VOICE

Infusing their fucked-up blues with the restless spirit of Son House and electrifying the whole mess with a charge dirty Detroit rock'n'rollness, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney push the needles off the dial with their bare essentials racket. The Black Keys' debut crackles forth from your speakers and shakes its ass round the room like it's alive, as insistently persuasive as that ole devil-man himself, with its eerie reverberated hollerin, speaker-shredding distortion and those dang-she-done-me wrong sentiments. - Hugh Gulland / BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS

There's Wu-Tang Clan-schooled funk in drummer Patrick Carney's fatback beats, and on the cranked-up "Countdown," Auerbach suppresses a sob with the droll closing couplet, "You stole my heart and damn near drove me mad/I gotta get back home to my mom and dad." From the truthfully titled "Heavy Soul" to a devolved, choogling cover of the Beatles' "She Said, She Said," this is a righteous choice for rock debut of the year. - Peter Relic / ROLLING STONE

This is basic drum and guitar encoded with Son House DNA, moving within that ol' unpredictable John Lee Hooker meter. It's a long way to the top if you wanna rock'n'roll, unless you live in Akron, in which case just keep drinking the water. - Steve Hanson / PTOLEMAIC TERRASCOPE

Where the White Stripes reminded everyone that alt rock could still contain graceful '60s hooks and prettiness, the Black Keys, with their heroic cover of 'She Said, She Said," drag the Beatles back to the Cavern. - SPIN

Here's how you get excited about the Black Keys : listen to them. Their Frankensound is created from bits of Led Zeppelin, Howlin' Wolf, Black Crowes, Dead Kennedys and Otis Redding. New stomp "The Moan" and the b-side's brash handling of oft-covered Richard Berry tune "Have Love Will Travel" are sure to Lazarus up any block party. Sneak these onto Grandpa's mix tape beside some early Junior Wells. - William Bowers / MAGNET

The Big Come-Up introduced the garage-grime and "white Hendrix" croon of The Sonics to the unholy strut of Junior Kimbrough's legendary guitar lines, fusing them into a spitting, spewing, 40-ton monster. - PITCHFORK