Robin Fontaine takes a look back at the last year in rock music, and he feels that the year belonged to a certain British duo…
Two thousand and fourteen was a pretty good year for rock music. Jack White, Pink Floyd, Slash and AC/DC released new albums, there were huge world tours from The Eagles and Bon Jovi, and the likes of Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold and Aerosmith were the arguable highlights of the year’s festivals.
Despite all of this, it could easily be argued that the year really belonged to a previously-unknown British duo. Brighton boys Royal Blood released their debut album in August 2014, and (despite the brilliance of the band’s early singles Figure It Out and Out of The Black) it still came as a shock to most that they ended the year as one of Britain’s most popular bands.
When we think about it, these two guys have everything they need to keep up with the titans of rock ‘n’ roll. Bassist Mike Kerr’s riffs are jawdropping, and pounding sticksman Ben Thatcher’s rhythms give a controlled and aggressive flow to the whole arrangement. Recorded live, with no samples or overdubs, Royal Blood’s debut album introduced us to powerful songs like Come On Over and Ten Tonne Skeleton, while still leaving us with enough space to appreciate the brilliance of Kerr’s whiskey-rock voice. Royal Blood does not serve to downplay the band’s aspirations, nor do the band attempt to hide their influences – they switch effortlessly between Muse-esque progressive rock and Queens of The Stone Age-style heavy riffage, both ensuring that the listener is never left longing for more and exhibiting the duo’s serious musical talent.
The band have already been nominated for three BRIT Awards, and they’ll be performing at the ceremony at London’s O2 Arena on February 23rd. They’re also heading out on a huge UK tour, and work is scheduled to begin on their second album by the end of the year. We can only see these guys getting bigger and better as the year goes on, and we can’t wait to see what they’ll do next.