Royal Blood have been flying the flag for emerging rock bands in the mainstream and they look set to build upon their strong debut with the release of How Did We Get So Dark? The debut self-titled introduce the world to the duo’s non-traditional set of instruments and astounded with various hits in the form of ‘Figure It Out’, ‘Little Monster’ and ‘Come On Over’, but lacked substance when it came to variation and lyricism. Fortunately it seems this new album builds upon that.
The title track kicks things off with the introduction of backing vocals to Royal Blood’s sound. This adds a little more depth to their sound, and opens up a wealth of ideas and possibilities to explore which is something the duo do throughout the new record. They act as a driving force of hooks on lead single ‘Lights Out’, and shows a fluid connection with the traditionally-heavy Royal Blood foundation.
New ideas are explored in terms of instrumentals too, as the likes of ‘She’s Creeping’ comes forward with a riff designed solely to take a back seat and accompany the vocals to bolster the flow, before unleashing into an infectiously catchy riff that adds a little light to the dark atmosphere of the record. ‘Don’t Tell’ is the biggest experiment however, as Royal Blood explore the psychedelic realms of their sound with an effect-heavy riff and falsetto vocals too. The result is a surprise but one that refreshes the palette to great effect.
Ultimately the main driving force behind the success and appeal of the record is the tried and tested. Royal Blood do not disappoint with delivering the heavy riffs, as the likes of ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’, ‘Where Are You Now?’ and ‘I Only Lie When I Love You’ prove to be the favourites as they tear through the airwaves with some truly thunderous instrumentals.
How Did We Get So Dark? Sees Royal Blood return with another solid round of music determined to haymaker your face off, but also explore other directions to keep things fresh and exciting. For the most part they’ve done very well, and it’s plain to see why they are being held in such high regard. It’s great.