US Royalty - Mirrors - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

US Royalty - Mirrors

by James Bray Rating:5 Release Date:2011-01-25

US Royalty hail from Washington DC although they sound like they come from the other side of the country; the band sound like they're from California in the 1970s. Opening track 'The Mirror' is reminiscent of Ennio Morricone's work which is quite a statement in itself. Right from the beginning of the album, the group are going for great American panoramas in their music, but they fall short.

Second track 'Hollywood Hollows' attempts to evoke a kind of languid sexuality in the typical rock aesthethic, with its "alley cats mixing and mingling" and its mediocre, strutting guitar lines. It seems like these Washington kids have grown up with slightly misguided dreams of headlining the Whiskey A Go Go on the sunset strip.

After such a swaggering start to the record, US Royalty moves on to 'Monte Carlo', which has a more California folk-rock style; imagine Jackson Browne wearing a leather jacket. This singer/songwriter vibe also crops up later in the album, for example on 'Old Flames', singer John Thornley swoons into what feels like a sentimental Joni Mitchell track.

In spite of their forays into folk music, US Royalty develops a more pseudo-spiritul, theatrical rock sound as the album progresses. The influence of fellow Americans, The Killers is evident on lead single 'Equestrian' but US Royalty don't come close to the indie-rock granstanding of their Las Vegan counterparts.

Though the album may feel like a paen to the recording industry of a post coital, 1970s California, the group are also obviously influenced by another contemporary band. On many of the album's tracks, especially 'Vacation Vacation', US Royalty are going for the sacred/profane stadium rock of Kings of Leon.

Given the popularity of The Killers, Kings of Leon and the fact the 70s are à la mode at the moment, there could be a big audience for US Royalty. The songs on Mirrors aren't bad at all but they sound a tad derivative and the group don't really assert their own identity on the record. US Royalty will have to do better than this to make it to The Whiskey.

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