Broody agitation is traded for contemplative themes without lowering the volume
Hannah Browne
12:00 26th April 2021

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Royal Blood’s meteoric rise forms an interesting mythos. The music, though irresistible, is formulaic and commercially palatable, with a sound that shamelessly conforms to expectations of melodic rock rather than attempting to redefine it. Or, at least, that’s how it has been up until now.

Unlike the subtle growth in their sophomore album How Did We Get So Dark?, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher surmount the challenge of a third album with ease as Typhoons trades broody agitation for contemplative themes without lowering the volume.

This yin-yang pop-rock quality lies in Royal Blood’s hooks; none more so than opening track and lead single ‘Trouble’s Coming’. Quoted in NME as Kerr “seeing in colour for the first time”, the track is flavoured with punchy dancefloor-ready riffs and lively synth keys, juxtaposing deep themes within the slick groove. 

Thundering on to the rest of the album, ‘Oblivion’ makes the two-piece sound massive. The gulf of the song is its booming chorus, wherein the backing riff reimagines their signature sound. Sonically, it’s tracks like these that hallmark the kinetic energy between Kerr and Thatcher to give their sound a trajectory larger than life. Elsewhere, the latter half of ‘Million and One’ luxuriates in the sounds, panaches, and production techniques of '80s electronica whilst indulging Kerr’s customary sultry lyricism. Delivered in the type of vocoder that Daft Punk perfected throughout their discography, it’s a disorientating down-tempo track that is best understood as part of Typhoons’ broader whole. 

“It feels so good to be letting go” runs a line from ‘Mad Visions’ in Kerr’s lush falsetto, and that’s exactly what Royal Blood have done throughout Typhoons. Despite missing some of the grit that made their 2013 debut stratospheric, the duo has tipped the balance to create one of the most genuine works of British rock that we’ve seen in years. Fan favourite ‘Boilermaker’ trashes into life with an unrestrained gut-punching sound, but it's the record’s title track that provides a blueprint for their growth and maturity.

Royal Blood have never claimed to be innovators, yet in expanding their stylistic repertoire they gently step upon familiar ground whilst forging the sound of modern masters honing their craft to reinvigorate their genre.

Typhoons arrives 30 April via Warner Records.'Turkey legs with Daniel Bedingfield': Read our surreal interview with Royal Blood here. 

Issue Four of the Gigwise Print magazine is on pre-order now! Order here.

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Photo: Press