Royal Blood: The return of Brit Rock

IT’S TRUE, our generation is famed for rejecting the idea of mainstream music – and I adhere to that stereotype. Whilst I wouldn’t necessarily call Royal Blood “mainstream”, they are played often on major radio stations. Taking this into consideration, I am going to make an exception and suggest that Royal Blood are arguably the best breakthrough act to come out of 2014. Their debut and self-titled album Royal Blood is flawless from start to finish, packed full of memorable riffs and songs like ‘Little Monster’, which have incredibly catchy lyrics. Their album has topped the UK Charts in the first week of release, provoking hope in the duo that their success signals a comeback for British Rock.

RoyalBlood COUWith the introduction of MP3 downloads and online streaming, we don’t make nearly as much effort to walk to our nearest record store and pick up a physical copy of the new album we really wanted. But surprisingly, a statistic in an article by NME states that Royal Blood “sold only 20,000 physical copies less than [Oasis’ album] Definitely Maybe in its first week back in 1994″. This just goes to prove that when an album is good enough, people will go and buy a copy of the physical album – much to Royal Blood’s delight. The duo is evidently making a big impact in the music industry, with Royal Blood hitting the stands as the fastest selling rock album in three years, and all in such a short amount of time.

After listening to the album all the way through countless times, I have decided to review five tracks. Four of them are singles that the band have released, and the fifth track is my personal favourite from the album.

Firstly, the album opener, ‘Out of the Black’, sets the standards high for what is to follow – I can assure you that it does not disappoint! The guitar riffs and Jack White-esque vocals make the song stand out from the majority of the electro-pop in the charts of late.

To follow is the single ‘Come on Over’,which uses heavy tones and harsh guitar to keep people listening. The first two tracks are distinctively different, displaying how adept Royal Blood are with their range whilst also providing the listener with a smooth transition between songs.

Figure it Out’ is strategically placed third in the album. I wonder if Royal Blood tactically released the first three tracks of their album so that their audience would have to listen to at least nine minutes of the album, and frankly by that time someone should already be sucked into an album! Listening to Royal Blood it is clear to see that the duo have been heavily influenced by the likes of Mike Kerr and Jack White, especially with their vocal styles. However, their music still sounds original and compelling.

‘Little Monster’ is easily my favourite, crowd-pleaser song of the 2014 festival season. Although I didn’t attend any of the festivals personally, I did have access to my television so I could live vicariously through the pixels. It quickly came to my attention that the catchy riff that repeats itself throughout the duration of the song is sampled in the introductory themes for the Reading and Leeds footage on BBC3 – I wonder if Greg James, Radio 1 presenter and ex-roadie for Royal Blood, had anything to do with that? I think unlike the other songs, ‘Little Monster’ has got the kind of chorus that you’ll find yourself singing when you least expect it.

Finally, I thought it only fair to incorporate my favourite song on the album, Loose Change’, which for me epitomises what this album is all about – the music. The insane riffs and genius percussion from these two talented musicians is what makes this album stand out from anything I’ve listened to in years – except perhaps the Arctic Monkeys.

The internet has latched on to Royal Blood and seems to be very happy with what it’s found, with some comparing them to the likes of Queen, Led Zeppelin and Queens of the Stone Age. This brings me back to the revival of British Rock: Arctic Monkeys have stood on that pedestal for longer than a decade, and Royal Blood are slowly but surely climbing steadily higher.