Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Royal Blood Comes Out Of The Black

Freshly formed early last year, Royal Blood is a two-piece band out of Brighton armed with bass, drums, and some mighty big amps that quickly fool everyone's senses into thinking they have more members. Their energy will do it too. Both bandmates have the same motto: They live to play live.

They also like to write about life, but without the same sentimentality of some people. Ask bassist/singer Michael Kerr what he writes about and he'll say the same as everyone — you get your heart broken and end up hating everyone for a while. As long as it's real, who really cares?

Certainly not drummer Ben Thatcher. Having known Kerr for so long, he is always on the same page, whether it is a rehearsal, in the studio, or the stage. Even so, they both see all this as just a warm up.

Out Of The Black EP is cut right from life.

The title track, Out Of The Black, was one of the first tracks to be put out by the duo. The track alludes to helping someone out of a bad situation only to be used by the person in return. It's a breakup song, but one made worse with the realization that whatever was felt might have been one sided.

Behind the scenes, the song came together while the pair were having a pint in a pub. After a few hours of table tapping and mouthing a main riff, they took it back to the studio to see what they could make out of it.

What makes the song memorable is its ability to make you wonder whether the pain of it came from the broken heart or the embarrassment of it. Maybe it's a bit of both. Nobody wants to feel played.

Out Of The Black is followed up by Little Monster, another song that hits unrequited love. But Kerr doesn't seem to care so much. The lyrics lay out that he is ready to prove himself affection worthy.

Come On Over is another courtship song with slightly more grit. Rather than pining away for the girl, Kerr can also be content at playing hard to get. His full-blooded vocals moan "I'm on a train to nowhere. I ran away to make you care."

The EP ends with Hole, another primitive, bluesy heartbreak track. While it doesn't have the swagger of Out Of The Black, it reinforces Kerr's commitment to share whatever he felt with the audience and Thatcher's relentless ability to do something more than keep time on the drums. He sets the pace.

For just over 15 minutes, the Out Of The Black EP rumbles along and gives everyone an immediate taste of what it might be like to see them live. Anyone who appreciates primal garage rock made all the more fiery with a duo making up for a lack of members, Royal Blood cannot be missed.

Out Of The Black Racks Up 6.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale. 

As a band that can still freshly remember days when they only drew four people to hear them play, Royal Blood draws considerably more nowadays. It's not uncommon for them to pack a room beyond capacity wherever they play. Overall, it's pretty clear they have the right sound. Only time will tell whether their lives are full enough to always have more to write about.

You can pick up Out of the Black on Amazon. You can also download the EP on iTunes. The duo has more material up their sleeves, with many shows consisting of a seve- track set, sometimes more. They play this Friday (March 13) in Austin before heading back home to the United Kingdom and to make some European inroads. Check their schedule on Facebook.
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