Review Summary: A catchy albeit formulaic debut for the Brooklyn pop duo.
Even though they have already released an EP, The Last Royals are for all intents and purposes new kids on the block. Formed in 2010 by singer Eric James and drummer Mason Ingram, they craft infectious and heavily electronic pop music with themes pertaining to daily urban life in “a world of concrete and steel.” One listen may be all it takes to dismiss their thematic legitimacy, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have anything to offer. Twistification
is a vibrant debut, buzzing with memorable beats and catchy choruses that will engage the casual listener for the majority of its brief but fulfilling duration.
If you are searching for an album with a degree of grit or rawness – something that challenges you but is rewarding in the long run – then you have come to the wrong place. The Last Royals have certainly created a good album, but it is more immediately gratifying than it is worthy of long-term appreciation. Songs like ‘Friday Night’ and ‘Always to Belong’ are glossed over, so smooth in their production that you almost feel the need to watch your step in order to avoid sliding. The former in particular is quite enjoyable, opening with a confidently strutting club beat that expands into a synth-driven pop extravaganza, along with an unforgettable chorus of “my baby said she wants to fall in love.” It’s nothing groundbreaking, but it gives party-goers a fun and edgy tune to enjoy as the excitement of the night beckons.
isn’t all glamour and glitz, though. There’s a variety of styles to be enjoyed here, from the Killers-influenced indie vibe of the thoughtful crooner ‘I Hate California’ to the distant echoes of punk-rock that can be heard on ‘Crystal Vases.’ The record is more of a melting pot of genres than it is an endeavor in one particular direction, which makes for an eclectic and unpredictable listen. With that said, The Last Royals struggle to string together quality songs in a row, with their best efforts coming at the very front of the record. Twistification
’s listeners can anticipate a wide range of indie and pop songs – all electronically influenced – while maintaining hit-or-miss expectations when it comes to the band’s consistency.
As for the future it is clear that The Last Royals have the potential to make a rather large mainstream splash. If they can continue to produce interesting and catchy material, it will simply be a matter of exposure and time. The band possesses a somewhat rare ability to make flat-out mainstream songs that aren’t completely derivative of other people’s work, and that in itself is worthy of at least a half-hearted endorsement. Other than that, however, there isn’t much to say about Twistification
. If fun, accessible indie/electronic pop is your cup of tea, then The Last Royals will probably find a spot in your regular rotation. Otherwise, they are a “check out their hits, ignore the rest” type of band.