Royal Blood | How Did We Get So Dark?

9/10 bloody good.
Round two for Royal Blood and it’s business as usual for the Brighton-based duo. Namely an instantly listenable foot-stomping guitar-driven din with exactly zero grams of fat to hang off its glam-metal bones.
At the heart of the Royal Blood sound, Mike Kerr’s bass (restrung with guitar strings) and Ben Thatcher’s bombastic drums meld together in a white-knuckle blend of raw power that barely lets up for a second. Good job too because there’s nothing worse than an exciting debut ruined by artists deciding to ‘take things down a notch’ on the second outing. “Don’t Tell” is the closest thing there is to a ballad, but really it still clocks in at under four minutes and sounds like the kind of thing you might hear in a shady strip joint.
The ten songs whistle by in a breathless 35 minutes, Kerr’s cannon-fire drumming the perfect accompaniment to Thatcher’s machine-gun riffs. How only two people can make such an unholy racket is mystifying, but somehow everything sounds like it’s been cranked up to eleven on all the dials.
This approach is effective across the whole of How Did We Get So Dark?, but on the solid gold standouts, (“Light’s Out”, “She’s Creeping”, “Where Are You Now”) the pair’s no-nonsense riffery really takes off. Best of the bunch, “Hook, Line & Sinker” is set to be a moshpit staple for the band during this year’s crop of headline spots.
Dan Ashcroft
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