Royal Blood return with incendiary new track ‘Lights Out’

In Single Reviews by Jake Leonard

After a well-earned break, brightoners Mike and Ben have returned with a fresh dose of bass-heavy garage rock.

It’s hard to forget the speed at which Royal Blood stormed the scene back in 2014. After garnering support from the Arctic Monkeys and other high-calibre bands, the Brighton boys embarked on a 2-year rampage across festivals and gigs to support their sensational debut album. Then, as fast as they surfaced, they slid out of the limelight to reflect on their success.

Now, following the announcement of sophomore record ‘How did we get so dark?’, out June 16th, the band have released lead single ‘Lights Out’. This first slice of what’s to come brings ferocious bass riffs with sharp, pounding drums and thunderous cymbals; all the key ingredients to the duo’s rough yet refined sound.

Every time I’m stuck in the ground
Spin me round won’t you spin me round

Mike Kerr lands strong notes throughout, with a rugged, powerful voice that still retains an air of fragility whilst lamenting another relationship turned sour. The whole track has a distorted, grunge feel, trading up the funkier twang of tracks like ‘Loose Change’ for a more garage rock sound reminiscent of the sinister ‘Out of the Black’. At nearly 3 minutes in, the beast is unleashed, with Mike breaking down into a screeching guitar solo, once again redefining what can be done by one frontman with a short scale bass.

Despite excellent vocal and guitar offerings, Thatcher plays it relatively safe on drums, with a surprisingly uninspired drum breakdown cuing Kerr’s solo, disrupting the flow right before the tracks most impressive moment. Hopefully this restraint is a deliberate move to save some intensity for the hotly-anticipated upcoming album. Regardless, ‘Lights Out’ is a strong opener for what should become another big year for Royal Blood.