By Oliver Butler (@notoliverbutler)
Coming back after their meteoric rise up the UK’s musical mountain with their eponymous 2014 debut, Brighton decibel enthusiasts Royal Blood are back with their second single, Hook, Line, and Sinker, which will be part of their new album, How Did We Get So Dark?
Hook, Line, and Sinker is an old-ish Royal Blood song, debuted at their appearance at Leed Festival 2015, this bluesy ear rogering was already popular with fans, and a full-frontal studio release lives up to the hype that this song promised.
There are two schools of thought with this song that make it incredibly listenable: the first is the heavy, driving, bluesy sound coming from Mike Kerr‘s Magical Bass Guitar™ that reminds you of guitar riffs from a bygone era. Of course, it’d be unwise to draw comparisons, but the simplistic, yet aggressive hook that this song begins with is enough to knock you out of your trousers. One of the heaviest songs produced in Royal Blood‘s short-yet-massive (ooer missus) career, it’s a dirty, gritty ride the whole way through, with you needing a cigarette afterward.
The second is the lyrical flow of this song. The way “Then she drags me by one finger, to her lips hook, like and sinker, honey I’m a sucker when you linger” is a stonker of a line, and is highly relatable to anyone who’s ever found themselves addicted to the beautiful poison. You know this person’s no good for you, but yes, boom, they drag you back in, no matter how hard you try to escape, hook, line and… yeah, sinker. The whole lyrical makeup of this song is brilliant, and likely stems from Kerr and Thatcher ‘leading normal lives’ off the back of their white-hot debut album cycle.
It’d be foolish to draw any comparisons at the risk of looking like a complete fool, but the sound of this track really has a classic feel to it. Not in a ‘yer da still can’t name another band apart from Pink Floyd when complaining about music‘ sort of way, but in a way that it’s a brutally simple concept that really works with a heavy-but-not-too-heavy bluesy overdrive, with modern finishes.
Whilst many are quick to stick their tongues out at the thought of Royal Blood, it’s their brutal simplicity and lyrical relevance that makes them so popular. Whilst the two tracks to give a flavour of How Did We Get So Dark? are more complex and deeper than their relatives on Royal Blood, it’s still the aggressive simplicity and easily digestible lyrical content that makes Royal Blood the hitmakers. Sometimes, you don’t want something deep, meaningful and special, you just want a bit of rough that’s easy to get through and leaves you feeling satisfied at the end. Which is what these two are so good at.