But where the Keys distill the hard blues of Zeppelin to its bare essentials, the Blades are no purists; they aren’t afraid to glitz up the proceedings. The album sets off on a post-grunge stomp with “Rock N' Roll (Part 1)”, hearkening back to when the giants of 90s alternative broke down and admitted that everything comes from Zep. But on entries like “Mick Jagger” and “Why Winter In Detroit”, the band flexes its glam muscles, and through the acousticky “November Fight Song”, the power balladry of “Shadow’s Like A Ghost” and the electric showtune “Every Night Is Like A Revival”, Gay Blades spread the full tapestry of lipgloss garage rock.Clark Westfield is an emotive belter, Rob Thomas meets Finn Andrews, but capable of subtlety when absolutely necessary. He’s got a good balance of familiar and exotic tendencies that make him seem down to Earth but with star power; he does need to be careful about the white-dude-trying-to-sound-like-black-woman affectation from time to time, though. But particularly on highlights like “Every Night” and the raunchy, insistent testimonial “Burns And Shakes”, he sears the tunes into your memory almost instantly.
The post-White Stripes garage duo trend raves on through this New York band (note to aspiring trash rock impresarios: it's not illegal to have more than two members in your band. Bass guitars can be fun!). It's not like The Gay Blades set out to ride the ride the sudden wave of Black Keys ubiquity, but it certainly doesn't hurt their prospects.