How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood

Warner Brothers, 2017

REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


Wow, it’s great to see a rock band actually playing rock music again. The two-man team of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher has returned with their long-awaited sophomore record and they actually manage to steer clear of keyboards and going pop – unlike so many other quote unquote “rock” bands have on recent records.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The title track ranks up there with some of their best material. It ends up sounding a lot like Queens Of The Stone Age, circa 2002: really heavy distorted guitars and some great drum work. It’s a really good thing because even Queens doesn’t sound like this anymore; it’s a really good way to kick off the record. First single “Lights Out” didn’t do much for me upon first listen, but after hearing it a bunch more times, it sounds really good and just as strong as “Figure It Out” and “Out Of The Black” from their 2014 self-titled debut.

“Look Like You Know” is a decent song with more great playing, but the vocals come off sounding a bit like Muse, which really doesn’t work much for this band. “I Only Lie When I Love You” sounds too much like a straightforward pop song, particularly for a band this rockin’. It’s not that bad of a track but could’ve been a bit stronger.

Released way ahead of the album, “Where Are You Now?” is one of the strongest tracks here and follows the lead of their earlier singles. It’s a powerful track and one that should get a lot of radio play. “Hole In Your Heart” starts off with some nice organ playing but then manages to weave that into a full-on rager, becoming one of the hardest tracks here.

All in all, the band has returned the mantle back to real rock bands that don’t have to rely on outside songwriters, big name producers, dance beats, and a mess of keyboards to try and qualify as a rock band. Hopefully, other bands will follow their lead and bring real rock music back.

Rating: B

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