Figuring out Royal Blood

Original artwork for the cover of "Royal Blood" by Dan Hillier
Original artwork for the cover of “Royal Blood” by Dan Hillier

The song “Little Monster” by Royal Blood has been on my Shazam list for quite a long time. I have no idea how it got there, I must have heard it somewhere and it must have peaked my interest.

late to the party

Today I started listening to their first album titled “Royal Blood”. I know, I’m late to the party, but none the less it kept peaking my interest with every song. I also discovered I had heard a few other tracks of the album here and there but never connected the dots. Which is strange as the songs on the album form a very cohesive collection. Without every song sounding the same that is.

just the two of us

Which is quite a feat considering that this UK band is comprised of just two people:

Mike Kerr who takes care of the vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, piano and Ben Thatcher who does drums, percussion, and piano as well. The band never sounds like a two piece. Every instrument has its own personality so the album sounds like a collective of players that understand their individual instruments.

studio trickery

Production wise the album is augmented by some studio trickery that never gets in the way of the music, it adds to it. The studio is as much an instrument as the guitar or bass is. And as an ex-studio tech I love that. But even without the inside baseball knowledge, the tricks used really enhance the experience.

Sound wise the album sounds tight and heavy. But it never loses definition. Every instrument and every sound has its own place in the sound stage.

roots

The music has roots in many of the heavier genres but it never comes across as a rip off. The songs may remind you of another band for just a split second but then it goes off on its own journey. The band proves that there is nothing wrong with roots as long as you combine them to do something unique. The songs are very much Royal Blood and nothing else.

highlight

I enjoyed this album a lot and am looking forward to listening to their second album. And I hope they keep them coming and manage to take us on a journey of discovery to new and exciting places. But whatever the future holds for this duo, their debut album can firmly stand as a musical highlight well worth your time.

 

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