Royal Blood - Royal Blood - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Royal Blood - Royal Blood

by Nathan Fidler Rating:8.5 Release Date:2014-08-22

To have only been going since 2012 and have a full album out on a major label is one thing, but to be palling around with Arctic Monkeys and Muse, playing Glasto and Download, is surely unheard of. Such is the promise of Royal Blood, tackling what is usually the gruelling challenge of making yourself known as a duo with aplomb.

Their self-titled debut showcases what all the fuss is about, mixing up their riff-heavy rock with some blues groove thrown in for good measure. Among the comparisons you can line up in your sleep are The Black Keys and The White Stripes, but really this is more a mixture of Rated R-era Queens of the Stone Age (shown on ‘You Can Be So Cruel’) and The Raconteurs (‘Careless’).

Many people will confuse this British pair for Americans based on this album, but with this kind of driving rock seemingly dead in the UK it’s hardly surprising. The most impressive thing about Royal Blood is that with their heavy guitar-sound, you’ll be surprised to learn that there is only lead singer Miker Kerr playing bass and Ben Thatcher on drums. Kerr, with a great pedal set-up, channels his fretwork through both a bass amp and a guitar amp to achieve the kind of monstrous, duelling sounds heard on ‘Little Monster’.

Short and sharp, the album will leave you wanting even more, something it takes several albums for most bands to conjure up. It’s not all about the speed either, with ‘Better Strangers’ closing out the album at a stroll with cutting lines like, “Brother beat me blue, sister bled me dry”.

Lyrically, there isn’t much diversity across the album's short length, lacking the stoner mayhem of Messrs Homme and Oliveri or the bluesy animation found in Jack White’s repertoire. This shouldn't stop you taking this band to heart, though, as it is only their first effort after all – rubbing shoulders with some of the big guns won’t hurt them either.

Already charting well, it’s likely that this band will be a force in the UK rock scene. The huge sounds they produce as a duo – reminiscent of early Muse – could see them ready-made for the stadiums too. Hopefully, this will see resurgence for rock as a stylish but thumping genre.

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