Carrie & Lowell
Brighton duo Mike Kerr and Ben Thatcher do miraculous things with the sparsest tools.
With Thatcher on drums and Kerr on vocals and a bass guitar sometimes customised with regular strings, Royal Blood manage to conjure an absolute beast of a noise. Their attack is so vast it could be Led Zeppelin at full-throttle, but it's just a couple of guys with whatever they can cobble together.
Rock duos making the most of what little they've got have been in vogue since The White Stripes, of course, and Kerr's even a frequent vocal ringer for Jack White, pulling a big old screech out of a whisper on the ferocious Out Of The Black and finding his falsetto on the hefty blues of Blood Hands. Royal Blood have all the unlikely presence of Jack and Meg, but tease out room for a swagger that's entirely their own.
That's in evidence on the lithe, almost sexy Figure It Out which starts out funky before erupting into ultra-fast fretboard-bashing and the brutish, strutting Loose Change which works its fuzzbox to satisfyingly dirty effect.
It's heavy stuff all round, but undeniably accessible too. Keep going like this, and Royal Blood could be our very own Queens Of The Stone Age. Time for the UK to rock.