Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Royal Blood – Lights Out

Lights out, guitars out…


Alfred Soto: A market exists for this sort of thing, I suppose *gets up to make a smoothie*.

Will Rivitz: The song is ostensibly about getting high after an erstwhile hook-up walks out the door, which feels appropriate given the massive testosterone rush its avalanches of bass trigger. Rock is dead, saith the critics, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still convulsing.

Iain Mew: Well done on the video, which takes the vague lyrics (“stuck in the ground,” “through the walls,” “skin tight,” “burning red”) and faithfully turns them into an uncanny Doctor Who concept. Making the most of constraints goes for the song, too. Royal Blood’s rock doesn’t do much new, but the focused energy of their stripped down approach gets them right to the point and means that the wilder bits of guitar aren’t just hemmed in details.

Lilly Gray: I remember hearing Foals’ “Inhaler” for the first time and replaying it over and over until the chorus buildup stopped giving me a headrush and I was finally tired of it. This is the Ollie’s Discount Outlet version of that, with very little drive or distinction to pull it out of the background. “My eyes are still burning red” has promising menace, but every element stays quietly at the back of the room instead of forcing its way to the front, from the ok-guitar to the ok-vocals. I just want this song to make me do a double-take, and as it is, I’m straining. 

Joshua Copperman: One of my dad’s favorite songs at the moment is Ghost’s “Square Hammer”, which I introduced him to after I gave the song a [7]. I played him this, however, and he shrugged — it’s too bro-y and simple for his taste and mine, and the melody and lyrics are so unmemorable that now I just want to start talking about “Square Hammer” again instead. I’m not trying to criticize “Lights Out” for not being a Swedish doom metal song, but I’ll definitely say that for all the slow-motion “yeaaaaaaahhhhh” backing bros and bass guitar tricks, “Lights Out” feels distant and dull, like arriving at an outdoor concert venue late and having to stand literally hundreds of feet away from the stage or even any speakers. Most of the points I’m giving are for that knowingly ridiculous drum fill at 2:27 and the ensuing breakdown, but it’s tough to get excited about anything else. 

Jonathan Bradley: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it seems taking the prog out of Muse makes them worse.

Cassy Gress: This sounds like “Hey Man, Nice Shot,” but much less cloudy and mysterious, like if Richard Patrick hadn’t toured with NIN but instead… I dunno… God Lives Underwater or The Hives or something. It’s not actively bad, but it seems old in an underwhelmingly nostalgic way.

Maxwell Cavaseno: I’m kind of an amateur expert on bands who are satellites of Queens of the Stone Age. The band with the kooky meth-head bassist, the band with the guy who was the unimportant member of Failure, the Swedes who opened for them who sound like a bad copy. Its like you have ten cars and occasionally, you have to swap out the tires from one or two of them to get car 7 running. Strange system. The reason why I bring this up is that frankly, that Royal Blood sound like one of Josh Homme’s friend’s lesser affiliate bands is really sad. Because apparently these kids are well over a decade younger than anyone who thinks being friends with Josh Homme is a cool thing, and that says everything about how backwards their ambition is.

Reader average: [7] (1 vote)

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