Royal Blood – Figure It Out

Arctic Monkeys-endorsed Brighton ‘power duo’ make MOJO feel sanguine.

Royal Blood

ANYONE WATCHING ARCTIC Monkeys’ Glastonbury headlining slot on the telly instead of having their shins kicked trying to get into the Pyramid Stage last Friday has yet another advantage to savour. The view of Monkeys drummer Matt Helders afforded by the Beeb gave several full frontal shots of his Royal Blood t-shirt. A great, simple piece of design that resembles both Josh Homme’s Rekords Rekords label logo and that of American cold cream colossus Helena Rubinstein (the latter unintended, presumably).

The great Helders’ Royal Blood T-shirt: bottom left, if you squint a bit.

The Brighton power duo proclaimed on Helders’ chest are Benji Talent and Mike Kerr, who take the same admirably minimal stance to their music as to their band’s imagery. Their Facebook page boasts just one photo, one faintly druidic piece of illustration and a link to their SoundCloud page, featuring just one song. And what a song it is. A three minute rumble of heavily Zeppelinized guitar, drums and plaintive vocal that’s as close to a reincarnation of the White Stripes’ primitive rock’n’roll values as we’ve heard in ages, and all the better for it. The furious riff-driven momentum builds and shakes as drums wallop and crash, powering the dazed-and-confused-by-love narrative into an almost speed metal finale. It’s sturdy, bracing, and high time they followed it up.