Review: Royal Blood – Typhoons; Dreary and Forgettable

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40%
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Uninspired

Royal Blood pen a bad Foals impression on the title track for their upcoming third record.

  • 4

In years gone, Royal Blood‘s dirty breed of garage rock seemed fresh. Their 2014 self-titled album had a lot of promise, not least considering bassist and frontman Mike Kerr’s inventive setup. But, like their 2017 sophomore album, ‘Typhoons’ drags the duo’s sound even further into tedium, combining their played-out cock-rock with a poppier non-polish.

The production on this new cut is very lacking. Like the previous ‘Trouble’s Coming’, Kerr’s bass tone (which, at its best, has sounded growling and electric with fuzz) is utterly compressed and tinny. The wimpy hiss of it here barely holds a candle to tracks from their debut, or even something like Nothing But Thieves’ record from last year. It gets annoying really fast. This is not helped by Ben Thatcher’s drums, whose genuine punch is killed by a flat mix, nor the songwriting, which sounds like a Foals B-side or a diluted version of what Queens of the Stone Age were trying on Villains. The song’s aiming-for-climactic bridge even features instrumentation that frustratingly falls out of time around the 2:40 mark.

In general, the Brighton duo aim here for a snappier, more dance-leaning tune. At the very least, the cut isn’t trying to do what it can’t: the lyrics are boilerplate, the riff-rock standard and the melodies exactly what you’d expect. The post-chorus’ chromatic bass run sounds at least a bit dramatic, and it’s always nice to see a band who try to wear new skin and develop their sound. Unfortunately, ‘Typhoons’ is in one ear and out the other.

Typhoons is out April 30th via Imperial Galactic Limited t/a Black Mammoth. You can listen to this title track below.

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