The Arcs - The Arcs Vs. The Inventors [VINYL] - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

The Arcs - The Arcs Vs. The Inventors [VINYL]

by Jim Harris Rating:9 Release Date:2015-11-27

I was a very small boy in a small town and my first piece of vinyl I ever purchased was a used 45 by Simon and Garfunkel called ‘Mrs Robinson’ and on the other side was ‘Cecilia’. I played it on a record player that had only Hank Williams and Tammy Wynette played on it.  

My mother listened to it with me and I looked at her for a response and she nodded and said exactly this after smiling at me and patting my head: “That is very nice. I don’t think we will play that ever again in our house…"

The last record I have played on a record player is Arcs vs.The Inventors Vol. 1 by a band formed by the guitarist of Black Keys, David Auerbach. It’s better than anything I’ve ever heard by The Black Keys. BKs music has never really grabbed me and it’s probably appropriate that they fight back and forth with Jack White, because I don’t really care for his music much either. Both recruited bad drummers to start with just so they could self-indulgently jam out rather clichéd, pseudo-edgy guitar progressions that always seemed self-indulgent and bratty.

So I was surprised this was six songs of low to mid-tempo near brilliance.  Of course, when you have Dr. John and David Hildalgo of Los Lobos play guitar and piano it certainly adds to your sound over a tone-deaf ex-wife you tried to market as your sister (Jack White), and a hot head drummer who thinks every musician on the face of the earth sucks except for him.

This band is by far the best David Auerbach has ever been in.  Dr. John’s dynamically understated organ and piano on every song add an earthy depth that you just don’t here in the cacophony of tired blasts you hear from Black Keys.  And my favorite song, ‘Virginia Slim’ simply soars with the brilliant and pleasantly surreal guitar of David Hidalgo.

The weakest track for me is the only one absent either of the two guests, ‘Young.’

There is much to be said about having great musical ideas and conceiving a big picture musical canvas and recruiting your influences to fill it all in correctly.

David Auerbach has won my respect by putting this type of collaborative effort together.  The overall sound is earthy, cosmic, bluesy, and even surreal at times, but most of all, it soars past the Grammy nominations and penchant for the rock cliché that defined Black Keys.  David Auerbach is the real deal now.  Keep it going.

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What a great combo ! Real holiday treat. Must listen to this. Happy vinyl hunting Jim !

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