Album: Royal Blood
Release Date: 22/08/14
Label: Black Mammoth Records
Two piece rock band Royal Blood have been everywhere this year. Glastonbury, Download, Reading & Leeds Festival. Been plastered all over TV as well on adverts and reality shows, and have taken over the airwaves at Radio One. With all this exposure and tenacity to get out and play shows, this is surely going to be a victorious debut from the Brighton based duo right? They’ve even managed to make Jimmy Page, of Led Zeppelin a fan, thats massive.
‘Out Of The Black’ rips into this record with a menacing ferocity and tension building verses, before Mike Kerr’s vocals come barrelling out of his mouth and expose this fantastic voice thats in-between indie and rock. ‘Come On Over’ sounds like an older Muse cut with a towering opening riff and pummelling drums. For a band that is made up of just drums and a bass guitar, the noise they create is really quite impressive. Kerr playing his 4 string bass like an overly distorted 6 string guitar and drummer Ben Thatcher shadowing yet emphasising Kerr’s playing. ‘Figure It Out’ really brings about the comparison of Jack White to the mix vocally. Delicately peppering vocal lines and repetitiveness in the lyrics of the songs title. An overly fuzzed solo then erupts and some pace is conjured up to take up this record another notch that will appease the rockier side of fans of RB.
‘You Can Be So Cruel’ struts along and by now we’ve noticed a formula repeating itself here. Quiet and quaint verses with subtle vocals and minimal emphasis on playing, then these huuuuge choruses that amp up everything. No wonder at their live shows the crowds go mental every time. It’s infectious and effective. ‘Blood Hands’ is moody and sinister in tone and runs along at a consistent tempo throughout until they kick into a riff that desert-rock legends Queens Of The Stone Age would be proud of. What follows next is possibly the biggest song of the year, ‘Little Monster’. You could not escape this behemoth this year, it’s been everywhere. Good job it’s fucking scintillating then. This track perfectly signals how the band can transcend different genres. The Radio One kids love it, the Indie kids dig it and the Rock fans can revel in it. Songs like this are a rare breed, but the UK scene is better for tracks such as this. ‘Loose Change’ plods along until it gets the kick up its arse it needs to propel this track into the memory bank.
‘Careless’ and ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ keep the rhythm moving with a groove-laden chorus on the latter that pushes this record into new territory with squealing effects and thumping drums. There’s even time for more fuzz and squeal on album closer ‘Better Strangers’. This is an album worthy of your time with pulsating drums, ferocious bass playing and confidence and swagger all over every minute of the 32 that make up this sensational debut record.