ROYAL BLOOD Royal Blood

Warner Bros ★★

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC - LAU­REN MUR­PHY

Garage rock duos are ten-a-penny in 2014, so what makes Royal Blood so dif­fer­ent to the pos­tur­ing pairs at­tempt­ing to em­u­late The Black Keys? Not that much, truth­fully. The Brighton pair of Mike Kerr (gui­tar, vo­cals) and Ben Thatcher (drums) cer­tainly have the slick im­age and the stri­dent vol­ume down, but their de­but al­bum’s songs fall short when it comes to mem­o­ra­bil­ity. There are squally riffs, beefy riffs, growl­ing riffs and grungey riffs a-plenty, but Kerr’s rather or­di­nary voice is reg­u­larly over­whelmed by their mus­cle and po­tency. You Can Be So Cruel fares a lit­tle bet­ter, but even its se­duc­tive, midtempo slink re­calls Muse at their most docile. Fans of stomp­ing nu-blues-by-num­bers will no doubt ap­pre­ci­ate th­ese songs, but even af­ter mul­ti­ple lis­tens there’s no shak­ing the au­ral ap­a­thy. Roy­al­blood­band.com Down­load: Fig­ure It Out, You Can Be So Cruel

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