Backstage at Coachella
by on October 25, 2013 in

The Black Keys returned to Coachella with a neighborly hello and operated essentially as they have many times before at the festival, having worked their way up from an obscure Akron, Ohio duo on the smallest stages to a headliner in 2012. The production was bigger, with colorful graphics flashing on the huge screens around them, but the music remained rooted in the band’s commitment to jagged rock and blues. “Let’s get moving,” said singer-guitarist Dan Auerbach, wearing a studded black motorcycle jacket and drilling right into the tortured echo and stutter of “Howlin’ for You,” fleshed out with extra players on bass and heaving organ. But the core duo of Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney frequently stripped things back down to just the two of them, ready to bash through the rawest, hungriest riffs and beats of “Your Touch” and other tributes to swampy blues.

Will Hermes of Rolling Stone called the song’s keyboards “a serrated organ growl backed up with a SWAT team of hand claps” and cited it as an example of Danger Mouse’s prowess as a producer and co-writer. Summarizing the song, Hermes wrote, “It’s Sixties bubblegum garage pop writ large, with T. Rex swagger and a guitar freakout that perfectly mirrors the lyrics, a paranoid rant that makes you shiver while you shimmy.” John Soeder of The Plain Dealer labeled it one of the album’s finest and said that it sounded like a hybrid of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky” and Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll Part 2″.

Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly said that the song, “with its swarm-of-bees organs and acid-trip gospel harmonies, could be a lost Nuggets gem”. Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times, writing about the song’s retro stylings, said that it “sounds as if it’s existed forever”.