Royal Blood by Royal Blood

Rating: 90%

Original artwork by Dan Hillier, a London based contemporary artist. A person covered in a mask stands in the centre frame. The mask extends upwards to reveal a starry sky inside the restraints of the mask, while the person's clothes reveal an outdoor forest scenario inside the restraints of the clothing.

Royal Blood is a duo comprised of Mike Kerr who plays bass and sings and Ben Thatcher who drums. Royal Blood comes from Worthing, West Sussex and was formed in 2013. They would release several singles, that would primarily build up to their full self-titled album, released August 25, 2014. Royal Blood provides the audience with a very dirty style and would peak the US Hard Rock Charts at #1 upon release of their self-titled album. Listening to this album one could understand why.

Recording of the album took place through Warner Bros and it was a grueling process for the band and producers alike. Royal Blood did not want any overdubbing or sound samples. This is off the path compared to most popular bands today. For those who do not know or understand the term overdubbing, it is when a band records a song, while listening to it. Since Royal Blood did overdub any of these songs, it gave the album a nice rich, natural sound.

Royal Blood’s self-titled album starts off strong with “Out of the Black.” Listening to this song makes you question if Kerr is playing a bass or an electric. In fact for the longest time I assumed it was electric and found out to my disappointment when I tried to look up the notes to play it on my electric guitar. There is never a dull moment in this album. Most rock albums today have a song or two that is slow and maybe containing an acoustic guitar with the typical classic rock like drum beats, but not this album. Royal Blood makes this album original. Kerr’s bass work and the sounds he produces on it are phenomenal. Thatcher’s drum beats are both heavy and give the audience an easy beat to headbang to. I could not begin to imagine their influences, let alone compare them to any other hard/stoner rock band today. Every song is easy enough to follow so you can jump right in and crank the volume on whatever device you are currently listening to it on. I think it is also notable to discuss their album artwork. Den Hillier’s “Pachamama” was the inspiration behind this artwork, Pachamama meaning “Mother Earth.” In fact this album artwork would go on to win the award for Best Art Vinyl 2014.

Royal Blood’s self-titled album gives anyone the capability to listen to it. Any age group can appreciate the music that they provide in this album. I am one who is excited for any new material Royal Blood may produce later down the road.

Track Listing:

  1. Out of the Black
  2. Come on Over
  3. Figure it Out
  4. You Can Be So Cruel
  5. Blood Hands
  6. Little Monster
  7. Loose Change
  8. Careless
  9. Ten Tonne Skeleton
  10. Better Strangers

Members:

  • Mike Kerr – bass, vocals
  • Ben Thatcher – drums
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