Third full-length from these garage-blues tag-teamers exhibits a newfound confidence that results in their first truly ambitious and carefully planned release. It picks up right where Thickfreakness left off-- outside the bar in the gravel parking lot, swinging aggressively with Dan Auerbach's ferocious six-string and Patrick Carney's cymbal-and-snare seizures-- and brings the noise one step further. There's more of an album feel to Rubber Factory, a conscious song-by-song progression rather than the visceral, overwhelming vibe that forged their debut, The Big Come Up, into a seething wrecking ball. The Black Keys have consistently sought to keep their distance from modern blues, calling themselves a rock band above anything else. But we all know the blues resides at the core of rock 'n' roll. Rubber Factory sways back and forth almost imperceptibly between the two idioms, revitalizing the essence of both.