Young British guitar-drums pairing Royal Blood have, as their press release makes clear, done very well for themselves since they made their debut in 2014. Can they keep the upward momentum flowing with follow-up How Did We Get So Dark? Well, quite possibly on the basis of these driving groovy rock tunes. Out on Warner Bros.
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The famously irritating Royal Blood will be familiar to anyone trying to play their friend a good song or dumb video on Youtube since they seem to have bought out all the advertising space under the sun. Personally, many a search for Semisonic’s “Closing Time” has subjected me to thirty seconds of whatever RB tune happens to play when it does, but I am now listening to ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ of my own choice and I realise just how much better off I was with just the thirty secs.
These overdriven rock anthems have a whole lot of heavy cornballing going for them, as evidenced by “Lights Out” and its absolutely hilarious drum fill b2b wahing guitar solo. It sounds like a band Tom Watson MP would recommend in a resignation letter, a kinda empty fuzz rock that does very little over a chunky four minutes. “I Only Lie When I Love You” at least entertains a goofier element of their sound by chucking in some much-needed cowbell and a couple of vocal harmonies that make the song feel less one-line. Most of the time, though, they just sound super naked, their guitar-drums combo never once compensated for in its total lack of texture.
I’ll go ahead and suggest that “Hook, Line & Sinker” sounds like Aerosmith’s “Walk This Way” to me. Why not. “She’s Creeping” has a whining and groaning groove and a piercing riff that unfortunately actually sounds like nearly all the other piercing riffs that appear alongside it. There’s a lot of stuff that kinda just sounds like Slaves, now, isn’t there, and I guess we’ll all have to let it be.
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- How Did We Get So Dark? by Royal Blood
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