Editors’ Notes Like many great rock duos before them, Royal Blood manage to create a sound that’s greater then the sum of their parts. On the outfit’s self-titled debut album, Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher combine for an unabashedly heavy blend of bristling riffs and deep, canyon-like grooves that have made fans out of Jimmy Page, Arctic Monkeys, and Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis. Using an armada of pedals and amps, Kerr plays a bass guitar like a standard six-string; this creative choice lends an inherent, unrelenting menace to Royal Blood. On the outstanding opener, “Out of the Black,” Thatcher’s sternum-rattling drum work is Dave Grohl–like in both its power and precision, while Kerr’s colossal guitar and vocal turns recall the arena-ready theatrics of Muse’s Matthew Bellamy. In the squeal and squall of “Careless” and “Figure It Out,” Kerr conjures the corroded, wonderfully pugnacious guitar sounds of iconic two-piece frontman Jack White. No matter their reference points, Royal Blood has an attack that's ruthlessly direct.

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