Single Review: Royal Blood, ‘Little Monster’

Indie | Friday 14th March 2014 | James

We’ve had the 1960s throwbacks. Who could forget the mid-00s garage revivalists? Pretty much everyone, actually. There’s even been a “New Rave”! But with a BBC Sound of 2014 nomination to oil the engines of the hype machine, relentless Radio 1 endorsement from Zane Lowe and a support slot for the Arctic Monkeys at this summer’s Finsbury Park shows, it’s impossible to ignore the growing buzz surrounding upcoming Sussex duo Royal Blood. Noting influences from Led Zeppelin to Jeff Buckley, they’ve built a reputation on an uncompromisingly dirty, loud and old school sound; borderline metal riffs with a bluesy lick (reminiscent of a grungier White Stripes) - and on the strength of latest single Little Monster the anticipation is entirely justified. Sounding more at home in the Californian deserts than the suburbs of Brighton, Little Monster exchanges between Mike Kerr's brutal hard rock riff and drummer Ben Thatcher’s pounding, Bonhamesque rhythm, complete with a swaggering, racy chorus that would make Josh Homme proud - "I've got love on my fingers/lust on my tongue" - and all set in the classic loud/quiet/loud grunge template. Little Monster may well be heavily indebted to early 00s American hard rock, but along with fellow UK-based hard rockers Band of Skulls forms something of a (more than welcome) heavier revival, making Royal Blood an absolute must see at this summer’s festival season - and one to watch for 2014.