Two Is The Magic Number

While everyone is busy losing their collective excrement that Royal Blood are somehow the saviours of rock and that it's so mind-bendingly amazing that there are only two of them, we'd like to remind you of some of the best duos the Metal Hammer world has seen in recent years.


Jack Black and Kyle Gass came storming into the metal world back in 2001 with their self-titled debut full of sketches, Satan and cock pushups. Every rock club on planet still has Tribute on regular rotation and if we’ve all giggled like pubescent teenagers to the Fuck Her Gently video, we’ve even bought a copy of The Pick Of Destiny film (in an ill-advised move). These two are still beloved heroes of our world and headline massive venues when Jack fancies a break from Hollywood. And they’re bezzie mates with Dave Grohl, so what’s not to love?


You’d think to make the most unlistenable of loud noises you’d need at least a dozen guitars turned up to 11 being played by baboons in heat. But you’d be wrong. Rhode Island two-piece Lightning Bolt have created some of the most unhinged, erratic noise rock your ears are ever likely to suffer. Using just a bass, a drum kit and vocals (often screamed through a distorted telephone receiver), the experimental duo have harnessed the art of turning a racket into an actual song. And it’s brilliant.


While the world is still sad to see the back of The Chariot (one of the most batshit live bands we’ve ever seen), Josh Scogin is still kicking serious amounts of arse with new two-man outfit ‘68. Comprised of a guitar, drums and vox, the Atlantans are famed for their high-octane live shows and fuzz-filled post-hardcore that struggles to fit any mould you care to mention. Going off on weird tangents that are often never resolved, their debut album (In Humour And Sadness, released earlier this year) is as much of a maze as it is a journey.


Hailing from the quintessentially English town of Oxford, the “two Bens” (Ben Perrier and Ben Thomas) didn’t half kick up a stink back in the early-to-mid noughties. Originally poised to be ‘the next big thing’ on these fair Isles, the no-nonsense, punk ‘n’ roll stylings of two long-locked noisemakers is guaranteed to get even the most rigid of gig-goers bouncing off the walls like Tigger at Christmas. While they’ve had no full-length in four years, it’s interesting to point out that WD play a punchier more American style of garage rock that’s suddenly cool again. Too ahead of the curve there, guys.


Refusing to be pigeon-holed, the Swiss tag-team of KzR and HzR (not their real names, of course) take elements of black and death metal, throw in some riffs and let the rest take care of itself. For two musicians, the atmosphere they create is so dense you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a whole ensemble in the studio. They can transcend from haunting, brooding overtones to balls-out aural punishment numerous times in one track that has more deeper, spiritual meaning in five minutes than some bands manage in their entire career.

Luke Morton joined Metal Hammer as Online Editor in 2014, having previously worked as News Editor at popular (but now sadly defunct) alternative lifestyle magazine, Front. As well as helming the Metal Hammer website for the four years that followed, Luke also helped relaunch the Metal Hammer podcast in early 2018, producing, scripting and presenting the relaunched show during its early days. He also wrote regular features for the magazine, including a 2018 cover feature for his very favourite band in the world, Slipknot, discussing their turbulent 2008 album, All Hope Is Gone.