Crikey! These two boys from Brighton make a big noise and no mistake.
Royal Blood, Mike Kerr (vocals and Bass) and Ben Thatcher (drums), have some
spectacular rock chemistry going on. From the moment that the explosive
opening number 'Out Of The Black' hits the back wall it's very hard to believe
that there are only two instruments at work here and the energy barely lets
up for a moment throughout these ten blistering tracks. The spirit of Led
Zeppelin would appear to be still alive and well in this fine ensemble's hands.
Mr Kerr has one helluva voice too; the third element which binds the whole
thing together and to top it all there are some really good tunes here as well.
Three listens in and it's hard to pick the winners. It's all good. Very good indeed.
'Come On Over', with its massive chugging riff, has enough power in its bones
to light up a city should the National Grid break down; 'Figure It Out', too,
thunders along on the back of a beat which makes your knees rattle and features
one of Mr Kerr's strongest vocal performances; 'Loose Change', coming in to
land at just over two and a half minutes, is a model of economy and deliciously
old-fashioned in the best possible great-band-in-a-garage kind-of way but
if I had to pick a favorite the the bluesy rip-roaring mid-paced final song
'Better Strangers' ticks all the boxes for a guaranteed Rock Royalty future.
This is terrific stuff. Play it loud. Very Loud!
on 5 May 2016
Some bands just work, and Royal Blood are one of those bands. Every song has a greasy, snarling, pimp-slapping swagger, propelled forward on a throbbing wave of hip electrifying beats and tight, filthy, groove dripping... I almost said riffs, but these aren't mere riffs: The sounds which spit into your ears are something from when the most advanced music was made by hitting a rock against a log. Primal. Raw. Needles in the amygdala inciting you to bark the lyrics in the faces of every other ape you pass on the street. A groin-shuddering vortex of vocal wails, growling strings, and whiplash fast beat magic which urges you to drop to all fours and embrace the animal within. Not a single, solitary, lonely track on this album could be considered filler: I have never enjoyed an album so much, felt so compelled to listen to it repeatedly, to review it. Bittersweet lyrical themes rake painted nails across your heart, but before you can bleed, the music gives you the curled lip menace to crack the fingers and emerge victorious, You stop being a passenger on the train: With this in your ears, you ARE the train! The office is not your cage now: It is the jungle, and you are the tiger which rules it! You are not a shadow in our plastic world now: No, now you are locked in a fight to the death with a mighty mountain lion, and IT fears YOU!
I guess I'm saying I really rather like this, and if you wished modern rock was a bit less... Feeble, then you'll love the assured rawness and cool stoner groove of this. Buy it and unleash the beast you never knew you could be!
on 20 October 2014
Wow! I discovered this band on BBC's iPlayer when I was watching a re-run of Biffy Clyro's set from T in the Park. Before they showed Biffy, they said they were going to show a few songs by a new band called Royal Blood, my thinking was - "Who? Come on just get biffy on!!" But I continued to watch as these two guys strolled on stage, one sat behind the drums, the other strapped on a bass guitar....then they ripped into Little Monster as my jaw literally hit the floor. How is he making a sound like that with a Bass? I was an instant fan and every song the played was equally as good and catchy good as the last.
I then told everyone who would listen how good this band were, the only downside was having to wait a few months until this album to come out. How do they sound? Well certainly not like a two piece and most certainly not like just drums and a bass guitar. I don't know how they do it but they sound incredible and it's not just studio trickery either as they sound as good live as they do on the album.
Being a two piece they will draw obvious comparisons with the White Stripes and although musically they sound miles apart, although Mike Kerr's vocals do actually have a tinge of Jack White, I especially noticed this on the track Blood Hands. The band also sound a shade similar to Queens of the Stone Age in their heavy, catchy riffs. Ultimately this band have the same ability as the likes of Nirvana - the ability to write incredibly catchy lyrics and riffs that you never get bored of. Only downside is the album is just 10 tracks long and comes in at about 30 minutes, but trust me it's well worth spending 30 minutes with Royal Blood.
Can't wait to see them at the Barrowlands next year!
A little late to this particular party - again courtesy of good ol' planet rock!
I'd heard a couple of tracks by Royal Blood on the radio and thought they were "OK" but not the sort of the thing I'd invest in buying a complete album of...but, that little riff that is "Out Of The Black" kept coming back into my head - simple but so powerful (but then, aren't pretty much all the best things the simpler things in life?) so decided, what the hell, and put my order in and, since it's receipt before Christmas, it's been stuck in the car player keeping out many other albums that I've just not had the time (or inclination) to oust this for!
So imagine my surprise when this CD went into the player for the first time and the first track coming up was the very track that had me buying this in the first instance, but then "Come On Over" launched, and I just thought to myself "samey" but continued playing without skipping and by the time I'd got to the end of "Better Strangers", I was a convert. Yes it is simplistic, but that crashing drum kit and a Bass that has to fill in all those voids has to be something very special indeed and as an overall picture, I could not get out of my head the idea of the dance troupe STOMP making much of this album....and while the vocals of Mike Kerr remind me so much of Muse in style and texture, they are not deivative, fully complementing the brutal rythmn pervading an album that begs to be played at volume 11....!
Mike and Ben, my hat is off to you, this is a brilliant bit of rock which I hope can be built upon on the next album that I very much look forward to putting an order in on as soon as announced!
on 6 September 2014
Wow! Proper rock is back! And it's VERY LOUD! Get out your air guitar, pound your pretend drums, scream along with Kerr's stupdendous sneer. Music that slaps you round the chops and tells you to live, big time. Brilliant.
on 25 August 2014
It's been quite a year for Royal Blood, from forming in Brighton to releasing one of they years most eagerly anticipated debuts, via heavy promotion as one of BBC's Sounds of 2014 and increasingly well received festival sets this summer.
The first thing that hits you when you listen to their music for the first time is the sheer wall of sound that assaults your eardrums. It is hard to believe that this is created by a duo and that they use a drum and bass combination rather than the more usual electric guitar.
Mike Kerrs innovative use of effect pedals and stringing on his bass (not to mention his impressive playing) means that you never feel that anything is lacking from the sound they produce, despite the limitations that their chosen instruments might have presented. Combined with Ben Thatchers powerful drumming, they deliver a unique sonic landscape, albeit one with its roots firmly in the past. This is blues based heavy rock for the 21st century.
The 10 songs presented here are all without exception short and punchy. The production is good, and the performances offer an immediacy often lacking on albums recorded with heavy use of overdubbing. It is easy to listen to this and get a feel for the live sound of the band, as that is what they have strived to capture and largely they have succeeded.
The songs themselves are, in the main, strong and it is easy to imagine many of them going on to feature in the heavy radio airplay that they have already been receiving. Out of the Black, Come on Over and Little Monster have already received promotion prior to the albums release and it is no surprise that they are amongst the stronger tracks here.
But unlike many other albums where beyond the singles all that is offered is filler, there is plenty more here worth listening to. Ten Tonne Skeleton, for example, is a personal favourite.
Any blues based heavy rock album is going to draw comparisons to those from the past, and at places it unsurprisingly sounds Led Zepplin-ish. However, as good as Led Zepplin were, there is more to the history of rock than them, and other influences can clearly be heard, especially (to my mind) Nirvana in places, and inevitably The White Stripes.
My only major criticism is the overall length of the album is on the short side, clocking in at just over 33 minutes. Would it have hurt to include a couple of extra songs to increase the value for money offered? Knowing that the band have other songs in their catalogue that wouldn't have lowered the overall quality means that this is slightly disappointing, although not a major drawback.
Overall, this is a superb debut album and with an unashamed heavy rock sound it's a welcome change from other modern rock music. This makes its a highly recommended purchase.
on 28 August 2014
How the music industry should be, a band gets itself noticed from local gigs, getting more and more airplay, building momentum until appearing at reading festival just before their album comes out. Have been waiting for this album for ages and it doesn't disappoint. Really don't understand all the claims about sounding too much like led Zeppelin, there are lots of influences to be heard through the album just like any other band but they have their sound. True rock fans should feel pleased that there is still a place for good bands to come through in the 'proper' way. Only criticism is its a bit short but what a debut and can't wait to hear where they go in the future
on 8 September 2014
Having seem the chaps on Jools and hearing only 2 tracks live I took the plunge. As a fan of three piece bands, I appreciate how much harder everyone has to work to get that "big sound". Bands such as Rush and Nirvana really impressed me live and watching these guys manage the same power with just bass and drums ok Holland's show was outstanding. The album does not disappoint, every track is a gem and it's fantastic to see a great debut album such as this finally appear. A must-have in the album collection.
on 3 September 2014
I don't think anyone who loves Rock/alternative music won't know this band after a blinding set at Reading Festival this should be in everyone's collection. As I write this it is already at NO1 in the charts after the first week of release or rather 6 days in the case of the cd(bank holiday Monday) This is my fave album of 2014 (So Far) and too think they are only a 2 piece.. I could give you a track by track run down, but there is no point. Buy it listen and learn.
on 3 September 2014
At last, a British band with some substance, some soul, some passion, some power, some edge, some originality. Not Brit poop at all. Following in the footsteps of bands like Judas Priest, Def Leppard, Black Sabbath, Led Zepplin, the list is un-ending. This British band is on the cutting edge of making original music and have an original sound. A must have for any rock fan.