The days when Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney filled dancefloors and achieved crossover success with El Camino and Brothers seem a long time ago. Their recent albums have been solid enough affairs, full of skilfully delivered garage blues cuts that rarely disappoint. What has been lacking, however, is killer hooks that might appeal beyond their (admittedly substantial) fanbase. Dropout Boogie, despite an attempt to spice things up with some new collaborators (including Kings of Leon producer Angelo Petraglia), doesn’t buck that trend.
Its first side certainly has its moments: there’s a pleasing swagger to opener Wild Child; Good Love benefits from the unmistakable guitar work of Billy F Gibbons, its downtempo, bluesy groove recalling ZZ Top’s exquisite I Need You Tonight. The tension of It Ain’t Over’s verse, meanwhile, is dispelled by a soaring chorus that sounds uncannily like ELO’s Showdown.
Unfortunately, there is just as much pedestrian material that stubbornly fails to lodge in the memory. Particularly witless is Your Team Is Looking Good. Seemingly intended to be sung at sporting events, its inane lyrics (“Your team is looking good/ But not as good as ours”) make “You’re supposed to be at home” sound like something from the pen of Shelley. Hit and miss again, then.