Blood Worth Bottling: Royal Blood Album Review

Album Review-
Royal Blood, Royal Blood

I’ve got a confession to make…. I usually try to maintain a balanced musical diet, but recently I’ve been binging on EDM. It all happened quite innocently…. I’d been studiously compiling “The-Best-Party-Playlist-In-The-World” for an upcoming milestone event. I started out fooling around with a little drum’n’bass. Looking back, I now realise that was just a gateway genre… Before I knew it, I was hooked on the heavier stuff- unable to start my day without a hit of dubstep. Yep- I was in deep.

Thankfully, two recent occurrences have helped bring me out the other side of this synth-driven whiteout. Firstly, the party is done and dusted- all that remains of the event are a handful of blurred snapshots, a wig post-styled with what is probably-definitely vodka and soda, and a single blue contact lens (a whole other story entirely).

The second, somewhat more newsworthy occurrence was Royal Blood releasing their debut self-titled album.

Now, to say that I’ve been looking forward to this album’s release is a major understatement. I’ve been anticipating it with the same amount of fervor that a fat kid displays after hearing a Krispy Kreme shop is opening in his neighbourhood. Indeed, since the release of their first single, the hard-hitting Out Of The Black, in late 2013, I’ve been craving more Royal Blood.

With 4 hit singles and a dream run of sold-out international shows already under their belts, it’s suffice to say that Royal Blood have well and truly exploded onto the grunge-rock music scene. Formed in 2012, the Brighton duo consists of bassist/singer, Mike Kerr and drummer, Ben Thatcher. Listening to the album, you’d find it nigh on impossible to believe that the phenomenal wall-of-sound could emanate from a mere two instruments. Unsurprisingly, parallels to another 2-piece heavyweight rock act have been drawn by the music press, and it’s not hard to see why, with riffs from tracks such as Careless immediately invoking the spirit of The White Stripes. Others have said Royal Blood’s sound is reminiscent of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, or early QOTSA- an impressive list of rock royalty that the band are undoubtedly happy to share the stage with. And yet, with a tirade of blues-driven rock riffs and a relentless pounding drumbeat, Royal Blood manage to create their own unique, deliciously rich and infectious sound.

Clocking in at a mere 32 minutes, the album’s 10 tracks are delivered at a frenetic pace. Out Of The Black opens, injecting an adrenaline shot directly to that part of your brain that activates the head banging mechanism. From there on in, it’s pretty much hold on tight and rock out with your prize rooster out. Hit-singles including Come On OverLittle Monster and latest release Figure It Out are intermingled with equally impressive tracks such as the bluesy, You Can Be So Cruel and the powerful, Ten Tonne Skeleton  ensuring the blazing intensity never abates. When the last hit of reverb fades from your eardrums and you finally come up for air, don’t be surprised if you want to jump straight back in and immerse yourself a little longer in the ocean of Royal Blood.

I missed Royal Blood’s most recent national tour in Australia, when their gig date rather inconveniently fell on an evening after I’d spent the day crawling under barbed-wire, traversing ropes and swimming through semi-frozen lakes at the Melbourne Spartan Sprint mud-run. But I have sworn that when Royal Blood finally do grace our shores again, I’ll do all of those things and more just to get to the show!

Do yourself a favour and check out Royal Blood’s debut self-titled album now! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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