For the longest time when it came to two person bands- bands like the Black Keys, White Stripes and the Japandroids, it was the bass player who was left behind. The guitar players made do via effects, distortion, extra amps and pedals, but the low end had all but gone the way of the traditional center in basketball. It was a relic. I didn’t necessarily agree with it, but I liked those bands and thought that they actually got the job done sans the existence of a bass.
Now Royal Blood comes along and kicks that notion of a bass-less two-piece to the curb. Leave it to the British to seem smarter than us lazy Americans.*
* not really
Royal Blood is my new favorite rock band. They are also Howard Stern’s and rock ‘n roll super heroes like Dave Grohl and Jimmy Page are fans of the band. They’ve only released one album, they’ve only been a band for a couple of years, they’ve only…fuck it man, they’re bad ass.
The two dudes in Royal Blood are bassist/singer Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher. Kerr rumbles and screams his bass through various effects pedals, creating a sound that sounds like aliens invading your modern rock station. Thatcher, who looks like a full back, hammers away at his drums with the merciless thunder of John Bonham crossed with Danny Carey of Tool. Their self-titled album is an endurance race through mountainous terrain. Why? Cause it rocks. Hey yo!
Royal Blood…it’s car chase music, it’s bar fight music, it’s the absolute best kind of beer-drinking and kick something over music. The band’s music was featured prominently in the excellent BBC/Netflix show Peaky Blinders, creating a spot on soundtrack to the bleak despair and frothy danger of the show and it’s polluted setting. What sticks out to me is how unique the band sounds and that they don’t really sound like anyone else out there. Yeah you could sniff out some Zeppelin influences or Queens of the Stone Age or Soundgarden- but ultimately they sound like Royal Blood, simple as that.
Maybe it’s a two member band thing- this trait of sounding like no one else. Or maybe it’s the bass and drums thing? I’m not sure. I’m only sure that they effin’ rock and with good new rock bands coming down the pike with less frequency these days, finding a new one is like finding a rare diamond or $10 in an old pair of jeans.
No word on a follow-up album but they’ll be touring with the Foo Fighters this summer.
You can learn more about the band HERE.