26 August 2014

Royal Blood - Royal Blood

Hyped bands - sometimes the hype is justified, sometimes the band turns out to be a pile of bollocks.  Anyone remember Gay Dad or The Glitterati by any chance?  Jackyl? Some bands that where pushed to the hilt and then disappeared with more speed than a politicians promises once they have entered office.  For the last seven or eight months all I have heard about when talking to people about new bands is that I should be listening to Royal Blood.  Formed in 2013, this band comprises of childhood friends Mike Kerr & Ben Thatcher.  Gaining support from Artic Monkeys (don't hold it against them - and for the record I have no real strong opinions about them one way or another), they have spent the last year or so building their audience and generally making such a buzz about them that it is hard not to have at least have heard of their name.  I think it also helps that they have one of the world's biggest labels behind them (Warner Brothers - it might be released by Imperial Galactic Limited, but there is still WB cash in there), so for some people they might come across as pretenders to the throne.  Again, I don't hold that against them as once upon a time there was a band called Nirvana who had major clout behind them and conquered the world.  What will make my decision is the quality of the music, so without further ado.....

Starting with their first ever single "Out Of The Blood", the band have a pipe bomb to unleash on the world.  This is the sort of swagger than made Kyuss such a joy on the ears, also the lyrical delivery does has a hint of White Stripes on it; but not to the point where you scream that this is just a more grunge version of Mr & Mrs White.  This has a groove that has been missing from music for a long time.  That said, I think it is also one of the poorest songs on the album, and I think it is a stomping track.  "Come On Over" is much more effective and another slab of garage stoner rock that will make their ever growing fan base quiver in excitement.  It was the third single to be released from the album (there was four tracks dropped before the album came out) and it just have a massive hook that drags everyone along as if they were the unwilling (or willing at this point) victims towards their doom.  "Figure It Out" is the third track (but the fourth single) off this album.  This is a song that owes an awful lot to Queens Of The Stone Age, especially the album 'Rated R'.  It has that classic groove about it that makes it very understandable as to why this band is so popular at the moment.  Seriously that riff they unleash at the end is pure desert nirvana; I really can see that one going down a storm.  The next number is "You Can Be So Cruel" and it is the first song on the album that does not quite live up to what has passed beforehand.  It is still jumping, but much like "Out Of The Blood" is does not do that much for me.

"Blood Hands" is a sexy little number, it does once again bring to mind other bands that the band obviously have as influences (QOTSA, White Stripes, Soundgarden, etc) and that is not a bad thing on the debut.  Also (and this is very, very, very fucking important), they make a sound that is unique to themselves.  It does not sound like a glorified tribute to all those acts, it sounds like a band making their own way in the world and it is a brilliant number.  "Little Monster" is next and was the second song to be released as a single before the album came out.  This was the first song I heard a few weeks ago and it is another out of the block straight forward rock number; a bit slower than the album opener "Out Of The Blood", but this makes for a much more interesting number.  "Loose Change" is one of my favourite songs on this album, mainly because it has a slow burning start before descending into a riff tidal wave that could drown many bands.  Also, every time I hear the coins hit the ground at the end of the song I look on the ground to see if my wallet has opened.

"Careless" is a blues riff that makes you wonder where these guys are getting their ideas.  It is not the most original of songs, the lyrics are pretty close to cheesy in a way that Def Leppard would be envious of; but the whole delivery just makes so much sense.  It is a very simple song that does exactly what you would expect at this point; massive rock explosion for the new generation of rock fans.  "Ten Tonne Skeleton" is an awesome strutting anthem that will cross both the rock and indie worlds.  This song does have a bit of everything going on, a loose riff that is not too heavy to be judged for metal heads; yet not go light that it will make metallers think it is only for the interestingly quiffed of hair.  Ending the album is "Better Strangers" which brings all the elements of the band's sound into the mix, the song is head and heels above the rest of the tracks here; it just has something else about it.  It ends the album on an amazingly high point.

I have been told good things about this band and the album is a very good album indeed.  There is a perfect storm forming around this band that will take them onto better things, this album is really good and just a shade over 30 minutes it is an incredible ball of noise from this two piece.  The fact that this noise is only coming out of two people is another source of amazement/amusement (delete as per you own personal leaning).  Now, whilst this album is really good that it is not the second coming that some people are saying that it is.  There are a few moments which don't quite work for me, but there is a lot that does work as well.  I have been advised by many people that have seen this band over the last few months that the racket that these two people can make live is amazing.  A very good debut album, they are well placed to take over the world, let’s see what they do after this.  Also, one of the few hyped bands which aren't a pile of bollocks as well.

8 out of ten - Oh, now you have my attention and maybe my money, time and heart

Top track - Better Strangers

You can purchase the album from Amazon here

You can visit the Royal Blood website here

You can listen to the album on Spotify here

For our Deezer users, here is a link for you

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