Review: Royal Blood, Royal Blood


Royal Blood are a two-piece band from Brighton who have been causing a stir since their inception in 2013. Consisting of Mike Kerr (bass and vocals) and Ben Thatcher (Drums), they quickly garnered the attention of Arctic Monkeys who had them as a support band at two large shows at Finsbury Park that same year. Since then the band have released an E.P. called ‘Out of the Black’ but a full-length album has been clamoured for ever since.

‘Royal Blood’, the self titled album, was finally released on 25/08/2014 to widespread critical acclaim. Their sound is somewhere between Queens of the Stone Age and Jack White’s solo recordings, or those he did with The Dead Weather. Which is a very good thing indeed.

Although the lyrical content of the songs themselves don’t stray far from the standard themes of guilt and revenge typically found in rock music, they certainly fit with the sonic landscape of the album. It’s astounding that just two people can make such a large sound, but then so did The White Stripes and Death From Above 1979, the difference with Royal Blood however, is that they sound muscular and solid and like a band twice the size.

Kerr’s playing style is unique in that he plays both bass and rhythm parts at the same time, the sound of his bass being amplified by the use of effects pedals and Thatcher hits the drums so hard it’s a wonder that the power has been able to be captured as well as it has. Kerr’s vocals have a distinctive style reminiscent of Jack White, but with the sleazy rock n roll attitude of Josh Homme.

With just ten tracks on the album it certainly leaves you wanting more and is over way before it feels like it should be, but I’d imagine that this is deliberate on the part of the band, as too many tracks may be pushing the capabilities of just two musicians. Personally, I hope they have much more in reserve for future releases and I wouldn’t want them to be a one-hit-wonder, because they are exciting and another great advertisement to the world that this tiny island can still produce great hard rock bands, instead of one more indie rock band. However, if this is to be the high water point in a very short career, so be it. Lots of bands never make an album this good in their entire careers.

‘Royal Blood’ is a great album packed with excellent songs that have the swagger and attitude of a much bigger band, one can only imagine great things will be accomplished by these two in the coming years.


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