As the vaccines roll out and the world gradually returns to normality, there is one question that has been on everyone’s lips; when can concerts resume? With countless albums recorded throughout the pandemic from artist’s home studios, the world hasn’t been starved of new music, only the chance to enjoy that music live with the artist. Although some artists are hesitant to announce tour dates due to the pandemic, many others, plus festivals, can see the end I sight and have anticipated 2022 as the year of the concert. With some of the UK’s biggest Alternative bands such as Biffy Clyro, YUNBLUD, You Me At Six and Bring Me The Horizon all topping the charts and announcing tours, Brighton Rock Duo, Royal Blood looks at add their name to the list with a 2022 tour and the release of their third album, ‘Typhoons’.
Opening strong with their lead single ‘Trouble’s Coming’, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher re-establish their dance rock sound, but with a disco inspired twist and steady pace that maintains throughout the record. Simple, but effective, ‘Trouble’s Coming’ is an undeniably memorable hit that perfectly starts the party of an album that is to come.
Keeping the party alive with its funky classic rock sound is ‘Oblivion’. With Ben Thatcher maintaining a steady stomp clap drum rhythm, whilst, Mike Kerr performs conventionally catchy guitar riffs, ‘Oblivion’ seemingly showcases Royal Blood as the Ed Sheeran’s of mainstream rock music, spinning absolute bangers out of simple beats and melodies.
The echo of backing vocals signals the beginning of title track, ‘Typhoons’ and at first I wasn’t convinced by this track. Feeling incredibly similar to ‘Trouble’s Coming’, as well as, the rest of the album, I wasn’t sure ‘Typhoons’ was distinctive enough. However, upon further listening, Thatcher’s funky drum beat, as well as, Kerr’s classic rock riffs and catchy chorus has since won me over, thus declaring ‘Typhoons’ a hit, even if it is more of a grower than other tracks.
Slowing things down ever so slightly is the next track ‘Who Needs Friends?’ Sporting a stronger presence of backing vocals, as well as a grungier guitar sound, ‘Who Needs Friends?’ shifts things to a slow dance, whilst encouraging listeners to join with the chorus. Although not the strongest track on the record, ‘Who Needs Friends?’ manages to shake things up in an album flirts with becoming repetitive.
Cranking things back up again is ‘Million and One’ with a fast looping synth throughout and familiar classic rock guitar sound. Mike Kerr’s guitar riffs and melodies are exemplary on ‘Million and One’ as always, however, like much of the record, Ben Thatcher feels somewhat restrained by the albums steady pace. Even during the song’s ethereal and largely instrumental second half, Thatcher maintains a steady beat, whilst Kerr shows off on guitar and keyboard. Nonetheless, ‘Million and One’ is yet another groovy addition to ‘Typhoons’ even if it’s not as memorable as the preceding tracks.
Opening with a very 1980’s synth keyboard and drum beat is my person a favourite track on the album, ‘Limbo’. Finally Ben Thatcher is given the chance to show off his incredible ability on the drums, whilst Mike Kerr focuses an emphasis on synth guitars. Thatcher’s drums give ‘Limbo’ and the album as a whole a much needed energy boost that, coupled with Kerr’s conventionally simple guitar and catchy chorus, makes ‘Limbo’ a disco rock anthem that people of all ages will dance along to, thus continuing to prove my Ed Sheeran comment.
A drum fill from Thatcher, followed by bouncy guitar melody from Kerr opens the next track ‘Either You Want It.’ although not the most memorable track on ‘Typhoons’, ‘Either You Want It’ has an irresistible charm to it with Mike Kerr’s incredibly bouncy use of guitars and synths, as well as, Ben Thatcher’s groovy drum beats throughout.
The growl of Kerr’s guitar opens the albums fourth and final single ‘Boilermaker.’ Fittingly masculine in sound, the Josh Homme produced track is a catchy rock and roll anthem, similar in sound to Queens of the Stone Age’s ‘The Way You Used To Do’. Thriving on the simplicity of its grungy guitar melody, ‘Boilermaker’ harks back to Royal Blood’s original dance rock sound, thus showcasing that although they are evolving, Royal Blood haven’t lost sight of their roots.
The sound of a raw synth guitar signals the beginning of disco rock club anthem ‘Mad Visions.’ Although the transition from verse to chorus feels clunky, the songs use of 80’s inspired synth and clap along drum beat makes ‘Mad Visions’ an irresistible toe tapper, like much of the album before it, as well as the next song which it transitions directly into.
Following directly on from ‘Mad Visions’ is the albums penultimate track and last dance rock song, ‘Hold On’. Displaying a fittingly triumphant sound to match its encouraging lyrical content, ‘Hold On’ is the better of the two connected songs as it brings ‘Typhoons’ to an incredibly satisfying conclusion.
Although the party is over, ‘Typhoons’ is not as it closes on the ballad ‘All We Have Is Now.’ Consisting of Mike Kerr, a piano and a lot of echo, ‘All We Have Is Now’ feels reminiscent of ballads from rock stars such as; John Lennon or even ‘Truce’ by Twenty One Pilots. Although ‘Hold On’ would’ve perfectly ended the nonstop party that ‘Typhoons’ is, ‘All We Have Is Now’ looks to relax the mood as everyone takes their leave.
Overall, ‘Typhoons’ is a 1980’s club night in an album that, although restraining Ben Thatcher significantly, still finds Royal Blood perfectly incorporating funk and disco to evolve their dance rock sound. However, Royal Blood’s disco direction does make ‘Typhoons’ a grower of an album for fans of their earlier grungier work. But for those, like me, who are able to push past their prejudice towards Royal Blood’s mainstream direction, they will find that ‘Typhoons’ is a great time to be had.
Typhoons is OUT NOW to buy and stream and tickets for Royal Blood’s 2022 Tour are AVAILABLE NOW.