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Royal Blood – ‘Typhoons’ Album Review

Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher: Royal Blood

After a 4 year hiatus from their rampant, aptly-named follow-up of How Did We Get So Dark? and Mike’s rise from his struggle with the rock ‘n’ roll life of alcohol addiction … they blow off the cobwebs …let a little light in … and develop a fresh take on delectable dance-floor grooves with their highly anticipated third album, Typhoons.

Who said elements of Daft Punk would work so well with the sounds of Royal Blood, eh?

Although not featuring the same angst and bitter troubles we saw on the two albums prior, Typhoons brings a certain shine to their musical palette of still finding ways to create anthem-pleasers, but not having to always resort to the moods of their eponymous debut. While this may create some disappointment among fans as they wish for more of the same, Typhoons is a true tale of rising from your own self-destruction from “flying too close to the sun.”

An excess of redemption and solace, Typhoons packs the punch in another twisting tale for this Brighton band.

After the befalls of what a rock ‘n’ roll life bought him with alcohol, Mike started on the road to recovery – all to find his sense of purpose again in writing music.

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You made me believe I could change
That’s why you’re one in a million and one

Million and One

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Life is hard when you’re losing, nothing easy’s worth doing
Save yourself, don’t throw in the towel

-Hold On

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With it, comes a redeeming of a band once lost, a splash of all-important colour and and still, a rampant discography listing once again that will no doubt shake the timbers of the arenas they are planning on performing in the Spring of next year.

At first, I had my doubts and fears of a band possibly resorting to the comforts of their softer side. Especially how big the band had gotten with their elemental nature and their dark presence in the past – – but the album has a flair of creativity that honestly was not expected from me.

Mike’s tales of struggle are littered throughout this album with Oblivion discussing losing his way with “fire in his lungs” and the demons that bring with bad habits in Who Needs Friends. The noteworthy guitar/bass combo and the beautifully simplistic AC-DC-inspired drumming is still prominent and won’t ever dissipate, of course.

But, Typhoons shows us a side to the Brighton duo we haven’t really seen as of yet. Raucous where needed but still featuring those new twists of dance-floor grooves in Million in One and Mad Visions, it is the next strongest tale for the story of Royal Blood.

Wishing to learn more about Royal Blood?

Discover more:

TYPHOONS: The Evolution of Royal Blood

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Getting Back Together for Live Music

Evening folks. Another evening update for you all on here. We just had our first Zoom meeting as a band for the first time in about 8 months and it felt like we were finally getting back together for the love of live music. It honestly felt the most natural thing we’d ever done – like we’ve been doing it all our lives. It felt like a sign of things to come, normality returning and the strength of unity with live music and their corresponding bands. And I can’t wait for it.

We’ve also got some new music coming out tomorrow reading for the weekend ramblings, so I’ll be making sure to be placing my unworthy opinions on a lot of artists’ work over the weekend.

So, stay tuned for that. Not a lot from me today, folks. It’s been a busy week and we’ve got one day left before we’re free for the weekend. Let’s have a good one!

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The Return of Live: Summer Confirmed

Hey, folks. I just wanted to give you a little update on where we are right now with live music. With us firmly on the roadmap for return in the UK, we can confirm all those summer gigs and events will go ahead with the comforting prospect of us soon returning to some sense of normality within our daily lives. Especially after those Spanish concert-tests revealing as no new cases or issues concerning the disease, it all seems to be going accordingly to plan – touch wood.

Here’s to our SUMMER OF HOPE FOR LIVE MUSIC.

If you’re planning on braving it out there in the sun …

what’s first on your list?

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Let’s Talk: What’s your First Live Music Gig Memory … and who was playing?

Evening, folks! With live music firmly locked on the road map with plans in place for a summer of festivals, gigs and events rife with the beauties of music, let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

If you can remember that far back, I want to hear about your first live music memories at a gig, festival or event that either got you hooked forever or you found a new profound respect for the art. Either all, I’m fond to hear about you and your stories!

For me, it has to be the glorious state of local music festivals in a field. More specifically, the majesty of Glastonbudget in 2015.

Not heard of it? I’m not surprised.

Pitched in the centric fields of Leicestershire – and aptly named as the biggest tribute festival in the UK – it features a plethora of glorious bands who play classic covers of the classic bands they are attempting to pose as – and all this for more than half the price than its glorious counterpart in Somerset. Of course, you do lose half the glitz and glamour of course, but as a local festival, I have fond memories of playing for the first time in a music festival with the local band I was with. A class set of friends and family that seemed inseparable at the time. I also have fond memories of the weekend with romantics and inevitable heartbreak. This festival alone, and for what it stood for, made me who I am to this day, I’m sure of it. It shaped my vision in the music industry, altered my perception of working cohesively with one another in a band, and most importantly, gave me that much-needed advice on girls – and what girls to avoid.

I kid of course, with that last segment, but the majority is true, that much is certain.

So, with that said, what are your fond memories of your first live music experience? Bitter-sweet or emphatically disastrous … I’m intrigued to find out …

So, let’s talk.

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Alt-J: The World of Experimental Sound

Subtle eccentrics of indie rock with complacent sound-experiments, bring Alt-J into the spotlight as critically acclaimed and award-winning.

An Awesome Wave

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Alt-J: a name raised from the delta symbol that is made when hitting Alt and J on a Mac keyboard, their smoothie blend of folky dub-pop became their signatory work and was first brought to attention in such singles, Matilda and Fitzpleasure in 2012.

Oddly arranged in structure and the ample choosing of percussion, we were pleasantly surprised to find out they had done a full-length debut album using those same sounds.

An Awesome Wave was released in the same year of 2012, and amassed a worthy following instantly –

including myself.

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Being one of the first to purchase the album via iTunes … trailing through the Earth’s atmosphere or merely jumping amongst cityscapes with your earbuds in … is how I would describe Alt-J’s music tellings.

Musically, it’s simple but it’s genuinely clever.

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Doing something that hadn’t really been done anything on this scale before – certainly not from an original quartet of artists – An Awesome Wave allowed them to earn their first prestigious Mercury Prize in the world of music – not to mention three nominations from the The Brit Awards.

With a 14-piece artwork that does not require a single skip – favourites including Something Good and Dissolve Me – it has soon become a staple of this pleasurable folk-indie vibe sort of music.

Its such a rarity to explore experimental sounds, odd in structure and percussion to deliver such an album that resonated with so many people. I think the sheer simplicity of it and the ever-so-present relaxing setting you get in there music has been there from day one. Wherever the band manages to end up on their next work, their art of morbid curiosity is a sight to behold.

This is All Yours

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Despite the temperament changing in the Alt-J camp after the bassist of Gwil Sainsbury’s departing in 2013, they remained true to their colours and followed up with their second, This is All Yours, in 2014.

Rhythm and space were their desired bread and butter – and that certainly didn’t change or deter at all with this follow-up.

Whilst This is All Yours did not share the same involvement concerning numbers or critical acclaim compared to that of the first, it just so happened to feature elements of extended beauty in songs that stretched for more minutes, which left the band to experiment more, without the worry of having to hold back to suit the status quo with the dreaded second album. It hinted at moments from their debut, with playful Left Hand Free and Every Other Freckle

… but also hinted at a changing landscape for the band, a maturity to their music, almost. Elluring two-parter, Arrival in Nara and Nara, which draws up a playing time of 9 minutes, allowed the band to create conceptual moments that translated well in a far deeper song structure. Overall, This is All Yours had an 8-minute longer playing time than An Awesome Wave, but you could say had a deeper meaning behind it.

Relaxer

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In early 2017, they soon departed ways with their vibrant colours and approached their third studio album with a somewhat darker presence, with the release of the trio 3WW, In Cold Blood and Adeline in 2017. Same year, in June? Enter, Relaxer.

Although short in a track listing of just eight, it certainly makes up for its playtime of 38 minutes. Although not doing as successful as the prior two, Relaxer is a diluted version of their sounds – but nonetheless equally ambitious. House of the Rising Sun and Deadcrush are beautiful moments that I will always wish were longer, despite them being long enough as they are.

It may also feature future sounds that we may expect to hear from their potential fourth studio album? Last Year and Pleader delves into far more traditional sounds of other orchestral instruments – including the uproar of a choir during the lasting moments in Pleaser – and even has a female vocalist adding elements into the fold that we hadn’t really heard of before.

Whatever they have in store for us in the coming year or so, I’m sure it’s set to be a delight for all of us.

Equally delightful in sound and presentation, Alt-J are a folk-inflected, indie-smooth topping that is perfect for any casual music listener.

Give their track-load a listen below.