Blacklist Royals – Die Young With Me


Album

Die Young With Me

Label

Krian Music

Year

2014

Genre

For Fans Of

The Gaslight Anthem - Against Me!

Summary

Nashville's still rocking.

Rating

63 / 100

Nashville rockers Blacklist Royals return with their second album, continuing their theme of bring a modern, punk like swing to an otherwise classic rock sound. The recording is kept quite raw, the spraying guitar chords and stripped back drum lines of opener ‘Righteous Child’ recall a mid-nineties Empire Records-esque sound with stark vocals that aren’t afraid to let their imperfections show.

The sound then jumps into something a little more modern on ‘Missing Something’, a track that pours the melodies on thick, with verses just as memorable as the chorus lines. There is a simple elegance to this music, stripped back yet full.

The major down-point of this record, however, is the lack of tonal variety, which makes the songs sound more similar than they probably actually are. The band refuse to paint with too many colours which can at times be great, but makes for a tiresome listen by the journey’s end.

‘Twenty Six and Gone’ is a solemn letter from the dead, which recalls childhood memories crooned softly supported by an organ and some shimmering chords, bringing the energy of the album down at exactly the right point, only to bring back in some groove with the danceable ‘The Common Things’.

The record’s title track uses a waltz beat and some guitar effects to punch along making itself somewhat of an anthem before things close out with the bass heavy ‘Last Days of the Suicide Kid’ and album closer, ‘Take It/Leave It’, another vocally driven rocker that toggles with the aggression of a protest song.

The songs tend to be structured and build in a similar fashion, beginning with some chords and defiant vocals before introducing some pounding beats and building from there, it works for the band well, no question there. But, it stills leaves little to the imagination.

Conclusion

Blacklist Royals certainly don’t have an original sound, but their delivery is what makes them worth a look. They clearly love a few particular genres, which they have melded together quite seamlessly. A little internal variation however couldn’t hurt.

Tracklisting

1. Righteous Child
2. Missing Something
3. The Open Door
4. Out in the Dark
5. Twenty Six and Gone
6. The Common Things
7. Skeleton Crew
8. Die Young With Me
9. Hearts on Fire
10. Last Days of the Suicide Kid
11. Take It / Leave It

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