Tim Tan Huynh

Rubber Factory turns 10

14 Sep 2014 — My favorite album from one of my favorite bands was released 10 years and one week ago. You might've heard one of the songs in a commercial, movie, or show.

From start to finish, The Rubber Factory delivers bluesy-rock goodness from The Black Keys, a (mostly) two-piece band from Akron, OH consisting of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney.

Rubber Factory cover
Carney (left) and Auerbach stand on the cover designed by Carney’s younger brother Michael. The collage represents their hometown.
  1. When the Lights Go Out
  2. 10 AM Automatic
  3. Just Couldn’t Tie Me Down
  4. All Hands Against His Own
  5. The Desperate Man
  6. Girl is On My Mind
  7. The Lengths
  8. Grown So Ugly
  9. Stack Shot Billy
  10. Act Nice and Gentle
  11. Aeroplane Blues
  12. Keep Me
  13. Till I Get My Way

The album title is a nod to its recording location (Wikipedia). “Grown So Ugly” (song no 8) and “Act Nice and Gentle” (no 10) are covers of songs by Robert Pete Williams and The Kinks, respectively. “Stack Shot Billy” (no 9) is presumably an original rock version of a folk standard. My favorite songs in ascending order are “All Hands Against His Own” (no 4), “The Lengths” (no 7), “Keep Me” (no 11), and “Girl is On My Mind” (no 6).

I was introduced to the album and the band around 2007 when I saw the movie Cashback. I was sure that the song was from the 60s, so I was surprised to learn that the band members weren’t much older than me. A lot more people are following The Black Keys now, thanks to their 2010 breakout album Brothers, but their 2004 album is the pinnacle of their catalog, and for better or worse, I think it will stay that way.