How Did We Get So Dark? – Royal Blood | Album Review
"You can feel the build up to the chorus when people suddenly appear from the ceiling, splashing around violently as the band continues to jam out. It’s mind-bending."
- By Carrie Mackevich -
Since forming in 2013, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, better known as Royal Blood, have had nothing but success in the hard rock genre. Their sophomore album, How Did We Get So Dark?, recently earned them a #1 spot on the UK Albums Chart. This may not come as a surprise considering their self-titled debut album also hit #1 in the UK back in 2014.
The 10-track album is evidence that the Brighton duo can have variance in their melodies, but still keep their signature garage-rock sound. In an interview with BBC Radio 1, Kerr explains the idea behind the album title saying, “I think we felt like that phrase summed up the guts of the songs.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. We’re introduced to the title track with Thatcher’s rhythmic off-beats before being lured in with Kerr’s bass guitar and resonating vocals.
This acts as a warm-up for the rest of the album. If you’ve seen the video for the hit single, “Lights Out,” you can feel the build up to the chorus when people suddenly appear from the ceiling, splashing around violently as the band continues to jam out. It’s mind-bending, to say the least.
Something new with this record is the addition of background vocals in select songs like “I Only Lie When I Love You,” “She’s Creeping” and “Look Like You Know.” The band has also embraced using harmonies in songs like “Don’t Tell,” “Hole in Your Heart” and “Sleep.” This gives the album a fulfilling voice, literally. As much as we can enjoy Kerr’s vocals as their own, it’s refreshing to have increased levels of tone for a more well-rounded sound.
Royal Blood will be touring the EU/UK with At The Drive-In and Black Honey before touring with Queens of the Stone Age in the US. They previously toured with Guns N’ Roses earlier this year.