Chris Schulz is the deputy head of entertainment for the New Zealand Herald.

Album review: Royal Blood, Royal Blood

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Album cover for Royal Blood.
Album cover for Royal Blood.

If you thought there was a full band backing Royal Blood's guitar-fuelled ruckus, you wouldn't be the only one. On early single Out of the Black they came on like a current take on Led Zeppelin, mixing guitar rawk with a grunty swagger and huge, shoutable choruses.

It's a simple formula done with impressive clarity and at huge volumes, so it's a major surprise to discover that Royal Blood consists of just two people: Brighton buddies Mike Kerr and drummer Ben Thatcher.

Across their hyped debut the UK pair seem intent on making as much noise as possible, conjuring up a racket so rowdy it might just be the best take on electrified blues-rock since the White Stripes departed us.

"There's blood on my hands" yelps Kerry on the sluggish grind of Blood Hands, while the feedback fuzz of Figure It Out kicks up countrified dirt like early Kings of Leon.

But it's hard to pick favourites when every song is backed by riffs you'll want to air guitar along to until the final chords of Better Strangers ring out.

Someone better warn Jack White that these new kids on the rock block mean business.

Verdict: Impressive debut from Brit rockers
Buy Royal Blood's self-titled album here.

- TimeOut

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