Royal Blood is a fresh two piece band blazing into the rock scene since 2014 with their self-titled release. They’ve certainly been enjoying success what with touring with The Foo Fighters and Iggy Pop, getting mainstream radio play, and winning a bucket full of awards. It is pretty cool seeing a two piece work with the vast majority of their instruments being a bass (played by Mike Kerr) and drums (played by Ben Thatcher) and who doesn’t love a good two piece? The Black Keys and The White Stripes are two of my own personal favorites.
“How Did We Get So Dark?” is Royal Blood’s sophomore release and it’s been getting a lot of attention at least from the circles of the web I move around in. A lot of Queens of the Stone Age fans have been recommending it and as a fan of Queens I figured I ought to give it a shot.
There are definitely some tracks I dig a lot on this album. “Lights Out” and “I Only Lie When I Love You” are brash and sexy and I think when Royal blood are at their best they are doing straightforward rockers like these two songs. Both of them have a great rhythm you can stomp your feet to and the choruses are fantastic. I also like “Don’t Tell” which is pretty mellow and the falsetto vocals from Kerr are nice.
Unfortunately, the rest of the album isn’t as thrilling. I can’t help but feel that songs like “She’s Creeping” and “Hole In Your Heart” are anything but generic. Other tracks have their moments but even now just minutes after listening to the album again I can’t recall a melody or a hook from more than a couple of songs.
Royal Blood have an undeniably great sound, but the songwriting was lackluster for me on “How Did We Get So Dark?”. I hope in the future they are able to capture the energy, catchiness, and melody on the better tracks here and sustain them for a full album.