It’s interesting that two guys who appear to hate each other as much as Jack White and Dan Auerbach should have careers that seem to parallel each other so closely. For whatever reason, they both have tried stepping outside the bands they are known for to create something new and different. However, White wisely chose to bring in other vocalists and songwriters (Brendan Benson with the Raconteurs and Allison Mosshart with Dead Weather) to help change the direction of his sound. The result is a distinct difference between each band.
Auebach hasn’t chosen this route. While the writing credits have been distributed throughout the band, The Arcs debut Yours, Dreamily may as well be a new Black Keys record. His guitar – vocal combo doesn’t explore any new territory that differentiates one band from another.
Of course, that doesn’t mean this is a bad record, on the contrary, it does exactly what you might expect from Auerbach by giving you a collection of songs that work his strengths. You have that blues/soul influence played with his vintage Supro and a couple songs that work as ‘rockin’ singles.’ “Outta My Mind” is a familiar anchor song that serves as a statement of arrival, a wave if you wish, that pushes the album towards the deeper cuts. Auerbach laments “working just to beat the clock / all I need is one more shot” on “The Arc” and while his voice seems rather sleepy in the sentiment, the guitar work is ferocious giving the song an image of someone rising up after a beating down.
The problem with Yours, Dreamily is that familiarity with the Black Keys library has begun to breed the perception of complacency with new band the Arcs. There isn’t anything new to offer, but still, if Auerbach is only going through the motions, he does it far better than most.
Record Store Day 2015 provided lots of vinyl highlights, but with so much to choose from it can take a while for the dust to settle and appreciate what you might have got – and what you might have missed.
Fact is I missed the best damn thing released on Record Store Day. I saw it, but with so much stuff already in my hands I started counting my pennies and kept walking. However, curiosity got the better of me, and I streamed the single, and then realized what was really happening… this was “THE” thing to get. Sure Hollerado was releasing a single for “Firefly” in green glow in the dark vinyl that was epic looking, but the title 111 Songs wasn’t just a title – It was a statement of facts – there was actually a download card with the single for one hundred and eleven songs! How many bands give you over a hundred songs for the price of a vinyl single – no other band people… no other band ever!
Hollerado is a power-pop outfit whose home base is ‘now’ Toronto (they formed in Ottawa) and have been putting out quality tunes since 2007. They’ve been runner ups for Junos (Canadian Music Award) on three occasions. Their last record White Paint is filled with some serious harmonies and presents a level of word play that is missing from most of the rock oriented bands that have recently presented themselves. They have spent the last few years touring with The Flaming Lips, Weezer, Passion Pit, The Dead Weather and a few others.
111 Songs is a gift for fans who pre-ordered their last record with one song written for each person and completed in less than two years. It is ultimately a huge workload all the more incredible as guitarist Nixon Boyd was battling testicular cancer (he’s fine now).
Anyway, I’ve been calling a few of my local record stores with no luck, but… it can still be ordered… YAY! While the band site, and record label do not have it, there is still a place.
So, if you like to rock out and toss your hair around to the sounds of something worth getting excited about – order this… (and as Stan Lee would say) Nuff said!