There are quite a few wonders of the ancient world you could contemplate for days on end, including the great pyramid of Giza. However, in the modern world, these rare wonders come to us in different forms. In the music world they arrive in the shape of Royal Blood, a Rock duo who emulate the sound of a quintet without much, if any, backing tracks. Out of Brighton, England, and originating a decade ago, the Alternative Hard Rock now return with their new album, Typhoons, out on Friday, April 30, 2021 via Warner Records.
Before we go any further, it is important to discuss what makes this band stand out from the masses. Well, as mentioned there are only two members, and that includes no guitarist. Together Bassist/Keyboardist/Vocalist Mike Kerr along, with Percussionist Ben Thatcher, create a larger than life sound. First making an impression with their 2014 self-titled debut, and again, with 2017’s How Did We Get So Dark?, they take things to the next level with the 11 tracks that make up Typhoons.
Starting off the album comes the lead single “Trouble’s Coming” which has slight White Stripes vibe mixed with a bit more of a Dance Pop. This may seem like a slight stretch from the band’s typical approach, but it is more than likely going to give them some more mainstream attention.
Leading the transition back into a more Hard Rock universe is the title-track, which exemplifies that unique bass and ‘guitar’ sound to the max. Thereafter “Who Needs Friends” allows you to drift away into a fun lyrical joyride enhanced by the high-pitched vocal stylings and explosive drums. This is while “Million & One” offers a more Alternative sound. Burning its rings of fire around all those in its path, it is one of the turning points of the album as keyboard accent the music and really drives home Royal Blood’s style.
Then there is “Limbo” which lives up to its name on all fronts, yet the surround sound of it all certainly does not dull the mood. This is followed by the powerful “Either You Got It,” before “Boilermaker” offers a heavy Grunge feeling, and makes it one of the best of the bunch. Keeping the album interesting, and driving on cruise control into the tunnel vision of the current state of the world, there is also “Mad Visions” before “Hold On,” a track which speak to those who feel like they are losing control of their lives. Lastly is the somber, peaceful, and quite beautiful keyboard fixated “All We Have Is Now.” A fitting ending, truer words could not be spoken than within these lyrics; because dwelling on the glorious pre-pandemic past or unknown future of live touring can only sadden an already depressed mindset. Essentially, you need to focus on the now, or the immediate future to survive these days.
Seeing Royal Blood in a live setting is ultimately the best way to appreciate the techniques of their craft, but with live music still on hold due to the pandemic, the impressive collection of songs that make up Typhoons is a close second with its multi-tasking agenda. A impressive effort, Cryptic Rock gives Typhoons 4.5 out of 5 stars and hopes to catch a future North American tour from Royal Blood sooner, rather than later.