The Best Records of 2014 So Far: #1 – Royal Blood

Royal Blood: One of the best records of 2014 so far

Royal Blood: One of the best records of 2014 so far

You know those music blogs that keep you up to date with all the latest releases and introduces you to fledgling indie bands that are going to be the next big thing? Well, as my regular readers know, this is not that kind of blog. I’m pretty hopeless at spotting trends, as anyone who has seen me dress will know only too well. And let’s be honest, if you actually want to know about the latest hot indie band, there’s Pitchfork, Drowned In Sound, Clash, NME and so on, all of which are, sadly, much cooler and, even more sadly, much younger and full of energy than me.

However, that’s not to say I shouldn’t try, every now and then. The trouble is, if you are anything like me, you may find trying to distinguish between fifty different four-star album reviews rather trying. It’s the sort of thing that makes the eyes glaze over and the brain switch to “off” mode. To be honest, reading new album reviews makes my face begin to resemble something that has overstayed its welcome at the local fishmongers. When all you want to do is hear a good tune, seeing a wall full of new albums is in some ways as frustrating as hearing “Unexpected item in the bagging area” when in a massive hurry.

So what we need is a small list. One that has already been filtered a little. Perhaps with some YouTube clips and a Spotify playlist so you can hear the thing for yourself? And not all at once. Let’s have a bit of time to digest it all…

So, over the next week or so, I am going to be one of those blogs that tells you about all the new music that I have enjoyed this year so far. Only for a bit, though. We’ll be back to making rubbish jokes about more established rock and indie bands very soon. There’ll be fewer than a dozen acts and I’ll be brief. The one thing they all have in common is that, in their own diverse way, they are all great, and it’d be similarly great if you checked them out too.

Shall we start with the best new band I’ve heard in, oh, ages?

1. Royal Blood – Little Monster

Royal Blood are unequivocally the best new band in Britain. There’s no album yet, but in the meantime we have this song (and one or two others) – and it’s an absolute snorter.

Whilst two piece bands are now fairly common, ones where there’s a bass guitar instead of the six string version are not. What this Brighton based duo has done is taken the downside of a two piece band (lack of bottom end) and solved the problem logically by switching instruments. In order to get the high notes, I suspect singer and guitar player Mike Kerr has used a pitch shifter guitar pedal for his bass (The pedal Jack White and Tom Morello use to get those squeaky high notes) which allows the bass to sound like a guitar during the solo. One thing’s for sure, Kerr must have very good finger strength to bend those notes!

Royal Blood are the next big thing in rock. Tipped last December as part of the BBC Sound of 2014, this might be one time the BBC get it right. Heavy, fuzzy and just damn loud: this is what rock n roll is all about. Get on board!

Tomorrow: Something quieter, but no less exciting: Tom Hickox



Categories: Rock Music

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4 replies

  1. thanks for that….i just watched this and then other things and agree with you completely…you be a great filter.

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  2. I totally agree with you – saw them three times at SXSW. Little Monster is a great track but Out of the Black live is kinda mind blowing…If you can ever see this band live…DO IT! By far the top live band I saw at SXSW this year. I had high expectations and they surpassed them. Can’t wait to see what a full length album is like! Here is my video of Out of the Black from SXSW…

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