Royal Blood are a Hard Rock duo from Brighton who have risen to fame off the back of their ferocious lead single ‘Out of the Black’ which is well on its way to becoming a modern rock anthem.
The duo have had comparisons to almost every major Hard Rock/Alt Rock act of the 21st Century and I will have to say that vocalist Mike Kerr’s vocals on some of the tracks are reminiscent of Jack White’s.
The opener on their self titled debut is the much talked and deservedly so. ‘Out of the Black’, the longest track on the album is thumpingly good and is one of the catchiest and best rock songs I’ve heard in a while. However, with the band opening on such a high note, such a energetic monster, they set the bar high and I don’t think they, over the course of the remaining nine songs, match ‘Out of the Black’.
‘Come on Over’ tries to compete starting off with a riff that people seem to like, it’s these riffs that Royal Blood are made up of that transmit well in a live show, but fall a little flat elsewhere. In that respect they’re almost like Haim, great live energy that just unfortunately fails to carry on over to the album.
The ‘solo’ on ‘Figure it Out’ reminds me of Newer Muse songs and ‘Blood Hands’ actually dips into stoner/sludge territory of which I’ve seen very few if any comparisons to, and maybe this is because of who’s hyping the band up. The album has been very much marketed towards NME and their readers who have their minds blown by the fact that the duo comprise of Drum and Bass much like Dance Punk favourites Death From Above 1979.
Again, I can see the use of a whammy pedal on songs such as ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Ten Tonne Skeletons’ earning them comparisons to Muse and Rage Against the Machine, but I almost feel like they want to be this heavy all out rock band, but feel like they can’t escape from these strange Blues/Garage Rock undertones. The vocals especially, whilst there isn’t anything wrong with them, feel a little weak compared to the instrumentation especially to the drumming of Ben Thatcher.
These songs are good, but that’s it. I feel like I should really like Royal Blood and they’re only going to get bigger, so what’s stopping you from supporting these guys? ‘Out of the Black’ can’t be matched but the swagger of closer ‘Better Strangers’ tries its best. Overall Royal Blood try but I think they need to find a direction because these songs, whilst on the surface seem to fit together, seem to have a direction, underneath they’re hinting at so much more and leaning in different directions. If Royal Blood choose a direction, they’ll only get bigger and better.