A better question is how did Royal Blood get so lame?Warner Bros., 2017
5.3 / 10
Wow, Royal Blood is a duo, but they don’t sound like a duo. Their music sounds bigger, louder, rockier. Okay, and past that, why should I listen to this band? The duo, consisting of drummer Ben Thatcher and singer/bass guitarist Mike Kerr, write catchy songs. But is that really enough to justify the lack of substance behind How Did We Get So Dark? Sure, the riffs are bountiful and Mike Kerr’s voice is enjoyably Josh Homme-y. However, nothing screams of significance, which is a result of the album’s banal lyrics. The album’s opening title track gives us the main idea of the entire album: romantic relationships.
But the romance has so many twists and turns with characters ranging from crazy ex-girlfriends to oblivious women. Kerr alternates between a love-stricken nice guy and also one sleeping around on his lover. Yeah, he’s a charmer. “And now I’m wishing you were someone else/ You know I’m up to something,” he sings on “I Only Lie When I Love You”. Such sentiment. Oh, it just brings a tear to my eye. Musically, this song reminds me of early ’90s radio rock from Def Leppard, which brings tears to my eyes for another reason. Hint: it sucks.
“Lights Out” does the job as So Dark‘s best single. Royal Blood definitely crank up the intensity, even though the lyricism remains dull. This one involves an evil ex, who loses her appeal once the lights are out. Seems her beauty is her only redeeming quality. Yet, so many of us still want to judge the book by its cover. Tsk tsk, my dear readers. Beware of what’s out there. Including bands like Royal Blood. Many listeners will buy what they’re putting down “Hook, Line and Sinker” (that’s a song here), but there’s better music out there. You just have to search past what’s shoved in your face.