Album Review: How Did We Get So Dark? by Royal Blood

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Credit: The Front Row Magazine

After three years the Brighton-based duo are back with their sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark? and, well, they’ve pulled no punches. The album is everything you love about the band but a little more grown up; not as shouty, but still as unrestricted as ever.

How Did We Get So Dark? has an overall lighter tone compared to the dark feeling running through the veins of the self-titled debut. It’s still as heavy as ever, but no longer feels like a moody teenager – more like a twenty-something rocker (a terrible analogy but hopefully you get the point).

The boys still know how to write rip-roaring bass riffs and thunderous drum solos into their bridges. Those moments are the lifeblood of the album with an incredibly unique bridge in each one.

I think these moments manage to separate the band from others in the rock genre and cement them as artists. They are everything you need in a rock song smashed together in 30 seconds creating a powerhouse of sound to leave you in awe.

The boys bring something unexpected to this album however, and that is a hybrid of funk and groove, at times creating an altogether new sound. Evident on Lights Out and She’s Creeping, these tracks become instant highlights of the album, especially the latter.

Hook, Line & Sinker is also noteworthy for being simply unrelenting. The song crashes in with the bass riff before thumping drums join with an almost staccato singing rhythm. It feels like a beast getting closer and closer to you before… well, the title sums it up really.

Hole In Your Heart feels different to the rest of the album however. Beginning with an atmospheric dotting of sound (honestly don’t know how to describe it, just listen to it) then punching in with the usual style, the boys get the closest to making a love ballad as they ever will, and if this is their version of a love ballad, they have completely deconstructed what it is and made something better (sorry Bonnie Tyler).

Overall, this album cements the duo’s place in modern day rock ’n’ roll. After a hugely successful debut, they needed to pull something huge out the bag and they have managed to do so with what looks like relative ease.

It’s the same old Royal Blood with a more mature sound that will bring back the old fans and likely entice yet more followers. Good job boys, now rest up for festival season!

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