Album Review: How Did We Get So Dark?

Nolan Weatherby, Sports Editor

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Do you ever feel like music is repetitive and boring? That all artists are just doing the same songs with different style, but the same instruments? Yeah, me too. However, there is one Rock Band that hasn’t been around very long that is making quite a splash with their unique sounds. Royal Blood, two dudes from the UK, have recently dropped their second successful album, How Did We Get So Dark?, thanks to the sounds of the bass guitar played like a lead guitar.


Mike Kerr, the vocalist and guitarist, wanted to experiment with this recent album, because of his upbringing. Originally playing keyboards for bands before Royal Blood, he knew the chords and thought that playing bass would be a lot more fun. So, he got his best friend for the drum kit, Ben Thatcher, released a self-titled album, and they created  this new album last year. That’s what we are going to focus on.


I’ve never heard a bass played like a guitar, and it is such a cool idea. When you listen to “Lights Out”, the bass sounds like a guitar playing on the thicker strings at first, so it has the deeper, grungier sound. Then, the chorus hits and he rocks out like Kurt Cobain from Nirvana, even adding a bass solo before the last chorus at the end. It just pairs so nicely with the cymbal and snare hits of Thatcher that you don’t miss any other instruments. This is especially evident in “Hook, Line, and Sinker” as well, since Kerr is playing way down the 3rd and 4th strings to sound like any great guitar soloist. It’s unique, it’s funky, and most of all, it’s fun to listen to.


But, it’s not all about hard rock and jamming out on this album. Some songs, like “Hole In Your Heart,” sound completely different, with Kerr starting the song with soft, plucking chords that fool you into believing that his is playing a keyboard. You find out in about 30 seconds that it’s a bass guitar when the chorus hits, and that’s what makes this such a fun album to listen to. I was constantly surprised with every track because both Kerr and Thatcher play off of each other’s hits so well that no gaps seem by accident. I honestly can’t help but move when I listen to this music, rhythmic bass guitars are great to flow with.


How Did We Get So Dark? is a fast rock album that provides 10 songs of pure enjoyment. Think of Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers shredding on the bass instead of just playing backgrounds. Now pair that with Taylor Hawkins from the Foo Fighters on the drums. You get this edgy, gritty sound that is great for headbanging while driving to school (But, please don’t make it obvious to other drivers, they will most definitely make fun of you). Royal Blood did well with their second album, in my opinion. Hopefully, they aren’t planning on ending their journey here, because our music scene needs change. It needs to find new bands that will carry on the great tradition of music into future generations.

Rating: 9.5/10