Label: Warner Records
Released: 30th April 2021
Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher, aka Royal Blood, have already had huge success with their two bass and drum dominated LPs which have reigned over the UK rock scene. This time, though, they’ve departed from their previous formula and have reshaped their iconic sound through dance and pop production techniques.
Change as a concept may scare some hardcore fans, but fortunately, it is pulled off in a way that only adds to the soundscape and doesn’t detract from the band’s spirit; the core elements are still very much present. In fact, some songs such as festival favourite ‘Boilermaker’ manage to retain that sense of rawness that has always been prevalent across their discography, so there’s really something for everyone here.
On the other hand, the moody love declaration in ‘Million and One’ is expressed with a dance element; synths are present throughout, helping to flesh out the track alongside the vocal layering. This truly revitalizes the duo’s music, a move which Mike claims took a great deal of confidence which was boosted by ditching the booze and taking some advice from Queens of the Stone Age frontman Josh Homme. By doing so, he has been able to adapt to the same pressures which induced the opposite approach on their sophomore record.
The lyrical content of the album is varied but all comes from an introspective place and hides feelings of hope under the aggressive disco-rock; there are love songs, tunes about despair, and the title track ‘Typhoons’ serves as a thematic centrepiece narrating the process of self-assurance.
Overall, this 11-track rocker maintains an infectious energy level from the opener ‘Trouble’s Coming’ right up until it closes down with a Royal Blood piano ballad, ‘All We Have Is Now’. Production is bending genre standards all around and this is a masterful example of warped alt-rock that immerses listeners in sonic escapism and provides a colourful, powerful and luxurious listen.