Royal Blood – Royal Blood

Royal Blood

Royal Blood are a hard rock/alternative duo from the UK. Forming their sound around the pretense of old school garage rock and blues-tinged hard rock, they should be a genre bending act; Ben Thatcher takes over on the drums while Mike Kerr handles the vocals and bass. Without a lead guitar line, the group deceptively use pedals and effects to give off a strong illusion that there is one… which is no small feat, fooling this specific listener like every audience member at a magic act. Kerr’s vocals are solid, but never really push the band away from being too different from other acts in the hard rock genre, but the real star here is Thatcher’s strong drum kicks that make every song worth a thorough listen from beginning to end. The various breakdowns on this debut are punctuated by his powerful kicks and beautiful rhythms.

While most of the tracks present on the record are middle of the road, there are a few shining ones worth praise. “Out of the Black” kicks the track listing off with considerable promise; the bass line is popping and powerful, while Thatcher has a killer drum kick that takes over the track as it builds. It also has one of the best choruses of the year, as Kerr screams out “gun for a mouth, and a bullet with your name on it.” “Come On Over” gives off a Soundgarden-like feel, with a guitar lead that is groovy but deceptively heavy. The sharp riff in the middle is strong and the clean vocals make for an interesting listen. “You Can Be So Cruel” is the best written song on the debut, creating a story of a lost relationship that the narrator cannot get over. The softer and more intimate sound of the track gives off less heat and more finesse, which is a good change of pace for the duo.

There are a few issues with the record as a whole, though, since some of the songs are too grimy and gross for their own good. “Little Monster” is one of the creepiest rock songs of the year, likening a potential one night stand to a little monster hiding away from the narrator. The song may not have been made to sound pretty, but it is still a bit disturbing with the clean vocals making all the lyrics very clear. Many tracks suffer from overly long chorus segments that just come off as awkward and weak, “Figure It Out” and “Ten Tonne Skeleton” especially suffering from this issue. The main problem with this debut has to be the overall sense of ‘average’ the song writing gives off. While there is only one of two truly bad songs, the majority of the track listing lacks anything truly deep or interesting to jump into.

Royal Blood give off a few hints that something truly special may be in the future for this UK duo, but this feels like a debut for better or worse. The grooves and drums kicks are almost always well-timed and some tracks are pretty solid, however, there are too many average tracks that don’t do enough to pull the attention of the listener. There are good bones to Royal Blood moving toward the future, but there needs to be a bit honing in the skill department before we are pleasured by something worthy of a royal treatment.


Track Listing
1. Out of the Black
2. Come On Over
3. Figure It Out
4. You Can Be So Cruel
5. Blood Hands
6. Little Monster
7. Loose Change
8. Careless
9. Ten Tonne Skeleton
10. Better Strangers

Links to Royal Blood

About krthll1 (82 Articles)
I am a huge media fan in general. Video games, music, and movies tend to be the ticket to my happiness. As far as music goes, I like to listen to music that can convey any sense of tangible emotional impact, whether it be dark, depressive, or happy. Favorite artists include Deafheaven, Nine Inch Nails, Metallica, Kendrick Lamar, and Alice In Chains. I would like to thank everyone on the site for this opportunity and hope my output is worthy of the publishing.

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