Royal Blood are a couple of boys from southern England, burly in both physique and on-record presence. Diverting from the regular rock two-piece setup – six strings and a drum kit – axeman Mike Kerr thrashes a bass guitar. He sends the bass through multiple amplifiers and distortion peddles, creating an alarming aural melee. Consequently,Royal Blood’s non-stop big riffs are forcefully stuffed in your face.
Royal Blood attach themselves to the sultry riff-rock tradition that spans from Black Sabbath to Queens of the Stone Age, with the odd sleepover in Pantera’s basement and Jack White’s loft. The sexual masculinity genetically bound to this league of intelligent ‘RAWK!’ is essential to its appeal. Royal Blood have convincing chops – with bold riffery and Kerr’s sometimes dazzling high register – but they haven’t nailed the art of primal seduction. Nevertheless, Ben Thatcher’s bullishly fierce drumming commands plenty of movement. The riffs frequently suggest that a stranger’s head is an appropriate target for your own. If that’s not your style, the solid grooves impel mass shimmying onto the dancefloor.
Royal Blood is a hell of a lot of fun, there’s no doubt about that. However, while it proves Royal Blood are dexterous reappliers, they aren’t compelling storytellers in their own right.
Royal Bloodis out Friday August 22 through Warner.