When Royal Blood released their self-titled debut album back in 2014, it was heralded as a return to great British rock music. Becoming the fastest selling UK rock album for more than a decade, the band were treated as the beginning of a wave of talent set to sweep these shores. Yet here we are three years later, and the band hasn't really found itself in any competition. Which may explain why a lot of the magic from the first record seems lost on its follow up.
While their debut album mixed stadium rock anthems with a frenzied pace, 'How Did We Get So Dark?' delivers a more brooding and grittier direction. Obviously the title of the album seems less tongue-in-cheek and a more literal interpretation of this new material. Yet with a less diverse collection of new tracks, this record seems far more tethered than its predecessor, and only manages to shine roughly half of the time.
It definitely has some strong moments (notably: 'Where Are You Now?') but they always seem to be overshadowed by the filler tracks that do nothing to help the flow of the full-length. A so-so return for the Brighton duo which seems a far cry from their momentum only a few years ago.