Royal Blood
How Did We Get So Dark?


0.5

Review

by DoofusWainwright USER (100 Reviews)
June 18th, 2017 | 119 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The UK's premier rock outfit (it says here)

Royal Blood were your classic old fashioned word of mouth hit back in 2014, winning over an audience with their unassuming approach to both music making and self promotion. Despite the success of acts like The White Stripes and Sleigh Bells the two-piece set up was still somewhat of a novelty and thus managed to spark more interest than you'd perhaps expect a standard up-and-coming rock group to garner; to seal the deal this enviable hype was further bolstered by a steadily growing reputation as an intense live act.

The 'two-man band' approach lends itself to a tight live show of course, though such benefits are likely to come with manifold associated costs, the impact of which will be particularly swingeing if the band in question shy away from overlaying live-recorded riffs or taking a second guitarist on the road. Yes, this act are resolutely (stubbornly") a two-piece to their very core, always keeping their compositions as simple and riff-centric as humanly possible; in short, Royal Blood songs are numbingly predictable and any surface level appeal they generate tends to fade lightning flash quick, sometimes before you can even finish an introductory listen. As laudable as it is that this band have stuck to what they believe to be their unique winning formula, in this case the result is pure undiluted tedium.

Lead singer Mike Kerr is one of the least inspired vocalists and lyricists currently operating. Listening to him toil away fruitlessly on this material you'll soon have a newfound respect for the likes of Josh Homme and Alex Turner; the latter can't claim to possess a voice that's even particularly well suited to heavy rock in this stoner-ish style, but when compared to what's on offer here the king of the Arctic Monkeys (eh) can hold his head up high. Rock lyrics in 2017 don't need to reinvent the wheel but surely there's no need for them to be quite as generic and meaningless as this; what we have here is a never ending assembly line of empty rock n' roll platitudes coupled with a charisma-free voice that knocks stone dead any chance this band had of being anything more than a stock riff machine.

So how do they rate as a riff machine" On the debut they scored high enough in this regard, the sped up outro to 'Figure it Out' was of course an old trick, but an established classic for a reason. Other straightahead rockers like 'Little Monster' never approached the level of the best material by peers Queens of the Stone Age but had some charm about them nonetheless. What's shocking on 'How Did We Get So Dark"' is how just a couple of seemingly minor calibrations to the machine has resulted in total catastrophic failure; noticeably fewer memorable passages, a little less bite in the mix, that's all it took for the wheels to drop off. Tellingly, there's barely a song here that ups the pace beyond a plod and those that do make some effort ('Where Are You Now"' springs to mind) come across as utterly flaccid irrespective. The Josh Homme style backing vocals are so prevalent on this release they end up stealing the energy out of each and every song like some kind of ginger haired, desert dwelling succubus.

So at the final count what does this release amount to" Well, at a push you have one relatively catchy song in the shape of 'Hook, Line and Sinker' delivered by a band so shamelessly in thrall of their American peers they'd make Gavin Rossdale's pubic bush blush a burning bright crimson.



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user ratings (276)
Chart.
3
good
other reviews of this album
Victor Silveira (3.5)
Hook, riff and sinker...

BlownSpeakers (2)
For the distracted listener that’s playing the album on shuffle, or perhaps, hearing snippets betw...

judgedeath2 (3)
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Comments:Add a Comment 
danielcardoso
June 18th 2017


11770 Comments


Oh boy.

Flugmorph
June 18th 2017


20774 Comments


yeah no

SandwichBubble
June 18th 2017


9412 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I can't believe Royal Blood got invited to the coveted Sputnik Towers



I liked the old review ):

Digging: R. Stevie Moore - Children's Museum

Asdfp277
June 18th 2017


19689 Comments


have i told u u suck

SowingSeason
Moderator
June 18th 2017


29876 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the whole 0.5 thing was funny but now I feel like everyone's doing it

I promise this isn't the worst album you've ever heard so it just seems like click bait

Not that it's the worst thing in the world, or that I care

I think I'm mostly just mad that this album is so disappointing

GhostOfSarcasticBtrd
June 18th 2017


6264 Comments


I'm not gonna read that much tbh.

Ebola
June 18th 2017


3505 Comments


no.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2017


14681 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah agreed with Sowing

Review is kinda funny but also kinda just ass

DoofusWainwright
June 18th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

It's a terrible review

DoofusWainwright
June 18th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Has anyone on Sputnik ever been demoted? I feel I'm edging towards that...and Royal Blood would be carrying my casket but they can't convincingly manage the task as a two-piece.

VaxXi
June 18th 2017


4393 Comments


correct rating bad... thing

butcherboy
June 18th 2017


9464 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

awooga made it all worth it..

Sinternet
June 18th 2017


18824 Comments


dear god this is almost as bad as a snox review

Digging: Dua Lipa - Dua Lipa

Tyler.
June 18th 2017


16460 Comments


hdhyhtrtyhdhd

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2017


24351 Comments


wew lad

StickFeit
June 18th 2017


1020 Comments


lel

DoofusWainwright
June 18th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

Now no one say they miss the old review

VaxXi
June 18th 2017


4393 Comments


you cant run from your midlife crisis, doof.

Bloon
Contributing Reviewer
June 18th 2017


2559 Comments


doof are you having a stroke?

Digging: Woody Guthrie - My Dusty Roads

DoofusWainwright
June 18th 2017


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 0.5

only the left half of my body was moving to this music



so maybe



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