Royal Blood Takes The Throne
Ask yourself: What makes up a band? Is it the lead singer? The guitarist? The bassist? The drummer? Although everyone’s answers are going to vary, the template for classic rock bands for the past few decades has been the quartet style, which consists of an iconic lead singer, extremely talented guitarist, a withdrawn bassist, and an insane drummer who has beads flying in every direction. While this band stereotype may seem like the quintessential formation, there are so many other variations appearing on the current music scene that put the last few decades to shame. In the 90s, the trio Nirvana created some of the most memorable grunge songs, which are still found in rotation on the radio today. In the early 2000s, Muse appeared and generated an ungodly amount of noise from only three people. Now making their rise to fame is the rock duo Royal Blood. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ere2Mstl8ww
Originating a short jump across the pond in Brighton, England in 2013, bassist Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher decided to flip music culture on its head. Unlike the previously described template for most rock bands, Royal Blood is composed of Kerr on bass and Thatcher on drums. That’s it - just two guys and a lot of amps. That’s what makes Royal Blood so unique. They don’t focus on crowding the stage or adding in other instruments. And I bet right now you’re wondering how Royal Blood is able to even sound remotely good without any guitar. The answer to that question is because of effects. Equipped with pedals and amp effects, Kerr successfully loops over some of his previously played notes so he can continue playing new patterns, thus creating the illusion of extra instruments. In addition to this, Kerr alternates his strumming patterns on his bass between using a pick and also picking with his fingers. First time listeners will likely confuse the bass with a guitar, but that isn’t the case.
In terms of their genre, Royal Blood is a hard alternative rock band. They are similar to Muse, The White Stripes and The Black Keys. Their music tends to be heavy and a little dark, so listeners should be aware, but even if this is not your genre give it a shot anyway!
Currently, Royal Blood is slotted for a live television performance on The Late Show With James Corden on Tuesday, September 22. This summer they toured with the Foo Fighters and did music festival performances supporting their first album, Royal Blood, which features 10 tracks. This album is now on sale on iTunes and also can be found on their YouTube, Vevo channel, and Spotify so give them a listen!
Images via wikimedia and staticflickr.