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July 2022

Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?

★★★
Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?
Published: 10:27 am, June 13, 2017
[vc_row css=".vc_custom_1429970155018{margin-bottom: 25px !important;border-bottom-width: 5px !important;border-bottom-color: #0a0a0a !important;border-bottom-style: solid !important;}"][vc_column width="1/4" css=".vc_custom_1429970165982{margin-bottom: 25px !important;}"][vc_single_image image="42600" img_size="full"][/vc_column][vc_column width="3/4" css=".vc_custom_1429970174266{margin-bottom: 25px !important;}"][vc_column_text]Not as good as their debut, but by no means bad.

Label: Warner
Released: 16th June 2017

Rating: ★★★[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]On ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’, Royal Blood find themselves in a position not many bands have before. The Brighton duo’s debut album was an extraordinary success, catapulting Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher onto festival main stages and daytime radio, even spawning a Brit award in the process. But with such notoriety comes huge pressure; some bands would crumble under the weight, others rising to the challenge. ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ sees Royal Blood occupying the space between those two outcomes. This album is not as good as their debut, but it’s by no means bad, and there’s certainly some interesting moments.

Opening with the title-track, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ kicks things off with a familiar sound; there’s groove, composure and confidence on display, but it feels disappointingly measured and restrained. Lead-single ‘Lights Out’ is similar: it’s a good song, and slicker than a BP oil spill, but it feels too polished, too clean, and too predictable.

There are some really strong moments on this album; ‘Where Are You Now?’ is head-bop inducing and easy to lose yourself in, and ‘Hook, Line & Sinker’ harks back to the thunderous sound of their debut, but for every one of these seriously good songs, there are troublesome inclusions like ‘Don’t Tell’, which is slow and sophisticated, and not the Royal Blood we know and love.

They’ve clearly tried some new things for album number two, and at times it works, but ultimately ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ sees Royal Blood taking a sideways step. Maybe the novelty is starting to wear off, or perhaps the band have simply struggled to recapture the magic of their unshackled debut. Whatever the reasons may be, the fact is that, for a band who so quickly set their standards so high, ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ is a bit of a disappointment. Jake Richardson[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css=".vc_custom_1429970289830{margin-top: 25px !important;margin-bottom: 25px !important;}"][vc_column][vc_video link="
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