Royal Blood: Royal Blood

Bass, drums and a bloody good racket.

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So what are we to make of 2014’s most hotly tipped new band? At Download, the demand to see this drums’n’bass duo was such that the canvas they performed under was clearly three or four sizes too small, so there’s a definite real-world buzz, but what new and exciting tricks are Royal Blood pulling?

The answer would appear to be none: it’s Supergrass’s Gaz Coombes fronting Queens Of The Stone Age, or Muse’s Matt Bellamy writing melodies for Alice In Chains. Everywhere you look you’ll find other bands, from Them Crooked Vultures to The White Stripes.

So there’s a distinct whiff of ‘emperor’s new clothes’ to this racket, but who cares when it’s cut from such fine cloth? This is a classic, thrusting, tune-filled debut, from the juddering Out Of The Black to the seesaw blues-rock of Better Strangers, via the huge singles Little Monster and Come On Over. It never lags, which is all the more remarkable when you consider the limited palette in use (remember, there’s no guitar on the album). Buy it now. Buy it hard.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.