Album Review – ROYAL BLOOD – How Did We Get So Dark? (Warners)
Review by Geoff Jenke
The rock duo Royal Blood formed in England in 2013, releasing their debut album to much acclaim in 2014. The self-titled album was full of catchy riffs and hard rock guitar. It’s hard to categorise their sound as it is a mixture of hard blues, stoner rock and hard rock with a little bit of psychedelic rock and pop thrown in for good measure.
How Did We Get So Dark? is very reminiscent of their debut. Maybe this is because they are after all, only a two-piece band. However, like the first album this is also a great album. The songs have been tightened up, as in not so much wandering riffing and their song writing improved. The band has retained producer Tom Dalgety (Ghost, Pixies, Opeth, Killing Joke) who has kept the raw sound of the band.
The songs range from radio friendly (the excellent first single release, Lights Out) to very heavy (I Only Lie When I Love You). At times, you can hear influences of Led Zeppelin in the sound, the start of She’s Creeping as an example. Maybe that is why the band is lauded by Robert Plant.
Look Like You Know has an almost poppy sound running through its almost psychedelic riff. Hook Line & Sinker has distorted guitar throughout, but it becomes a little too repetitive as it goes. Jack White has a lot to answer for.
The album runs for under 40 minutes which is a good thing. It gets in, grabs your attention but then finishes before it out wears its welcome. While it is a good album and a comfortable follow up to their debut. One wonders which direction they will head next. They seem torn between radio friendly tunes and heavy metal brashness. Whichever way they do head, I eagerly await their next album. In the meantime, we have this album to listen to and enjoy.