Royal Blood – Royal Blood: Yeah, OK, I get it, guitar-based alt rock has become a pretty homogenized genre, so much so that many bands are nearly indistinguishable from each other (proof: “Turn Blue” might as well have been a Strokes album as a Black Keys one). I could certainly sit here and list – probably for multiple paragraphs – the other bands that Royal Blood sound like and dismiss their debut album as too “unoriginal” to be worthwhile, but at least in my opinion, that would be a total disservice to the band. (Because this album is good. Really.) Sure, I will admit that if someone told me that “Figure It Out” was actually by the Arctic Monkeys, I would *probably* believe it, but hey, that’s maybe not such a bad thing (I am pretty fond of “AM,” not gonna lie). However, in addition to the more stereotypical characteristics present in this album – the talk-style delivery on many of the tracks, the catchy (bass) guitar riffs, and the overall structures of the songs – “Royal Blood” highlights the distinctive aspects of the band’s style. As a two-piece band with a bass guitar rather than the typical six-string, Royal Blood has a much heavier sound – even in slower paced songs like “Blood Hands” and “Better Strangers” – than many other, better-known alt rock duos, such as the The White Stripes or Japandroids. Royal Blood also strays from the “cleaner” sounding guitars preferred by popular alt rock, favoring a more alt metal stylized sound in both “Little Monster” and “Loose Change.” And, like I mentioned earlier, even the less unique-sounding songs (namely “Out of the Black” and “Come on Over”) are enjoyable and will definitely give you your rock fix. ASHLEY H.
Recommended Tracks: “Little Monster,” “Loose Change,” “Better Strangers”