Royal Blood are a two piece band from Worthing, near Brighton, who make an awesome noise and have exploded on the music scene this year. They are singer/bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. Their debut album recently charted at No1 and their latest tour apparently sold out in two minutes. They have had an extraordinary surge in popularity over the summer, which is a result of their awesome live performances on the festival circuit. I saw parts of their performances at Glastonbury and Reading/Leeds and was really impressed. The crowds were going wild. It was hard, primeval rock. The essence. It is brilliant to see a band getting massive because of their live performances. It’s like a trip back in time…
The debut album is an awesome journey through their sound. Two piece, guitar and drum bands have been in vogue recently. The White Stripes started it, but others, like Drenge and Japandroids have taken it on. I saw both of them at Latitude in 2013 – they were two of the best things I saw that year. This year a band called Slaves did the two man thing and rocked. But I think Royal Blood have been the most successful at translating their live sound to record. It might be because Mike Kerr plays a bass with guitar effects (and possibly strings). It gives the sound a lot of weight. Yeah, this is heavy music.
The album is a joy from start to finish. It’s one of those albums that would have had a big PLAY LOUD sticker on it in the seventies, and yes, it is best played at maximum volume. The seventies might be its spiritual home, or even the late sixties, with the blues rockers like Cream… and of, course Led Zeppelin.
I’m afraid I can’t help it – this album reminds me of so many other sounds. It’s not derivative, it is inspired. Opening track “Out Of The Black” gives me Metallica, Muse and Led Zep in the first minute, with a hint of Arctic Monkeys. The White Stripes are clearly an influence and Queens Of The Stone Age too.
This is the band doing “Out Of The Black” at Glastonbury.
If you like hard rock, blues rock, metal, punk, rock’n’roll, I’d be really surprised if you didn’t like this album. It draws from classic bands from the past, but it is also completely contemporary. The melodies, the choruses aren’t designed for old lags like me – they are for the youth of today. Which explains its popularity. But it’s great for old lags like me too, because it is the latest brilliant example of why rock’n’roll will never die.
My favourite track, so far, is “Come On Over”. ( I really like “Careless” too). The verse vocals are a bit murky on this video, but the beat is supreme.