Royal Blood Without the Royal Tongue

Question…why don’t British singers have British accents when they sing?? That question has plagued my boss over @ Tonight At Dawn for decades. I read once that the explanation is related to linguistics, but the “adult” words in the article bored me and I was never able to satiate her curiosity.

Regardless of the reason, all the singers of the big Brit Bands -the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Queen, Led Zeppelin – sounds as if they could have been born in the suburbs of Pittsburgh or Baltimore (but, God forbid, not Boston).

And, I am proud to say, this peculiar tradition lives on with the duo of Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, Brighton’s own Royal Blood. What makes my initial question even more relevant is that not only does this British band sound American vocally, but musically as well. Kerr and Thatcher channel the likes of the White Stripes and the Black Keys, albeit heavier. (Yet they managed to escape the pressures of the Crayola people when naming their band.)

I emphasize that Royal Blood is a duo because its amazing how these 2 are able to produce such a depth of sound that it seems as though there are layers of guitar coming out of my speakers.

In fact, these lads are as rock and roll as they come these days. Whether it is the pounding ferocity of “Out of the Black“, the Queens Of The Stone Age-esque swagger on “You Can Be So Cruel“, or White Stripes-inspired “Careless” (tell me that guitar tone doesn’t remind you of “Icky Thump”), this duo is pulling no punches and going right for your throat with each track.

Ten Tonne Skeleton” portrays an even more menacing vibe than the previous tracks and offers the extent of the diversity on this LP. The lack of variety is forgivable because their consistent strength works without needing a twist.

As with most debuts, there are some minor missteps to be found. Songs like “Come on Over” have interesting parts, such as the spiraling guitar play, but is otherwise forgettable.  Also, the lyrics can be a bit bland at times; “I got love on my fingers, lust on my tongue”  off of “Little Monster” sounds like Whitesnake reincarnate.  Thankfully, this track is probably the most generic and rehashed sounding of the bunch.

Fortunately, at 33 minutes long, the self-titled has little time to mess around, so the filler material is generally sparse. All in all, what we end up with is a decent debut from these Brits, with a Detroit accent to boot!

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