Royal Mob – ‘Cinematic’

By Gem Rogers

It’s understandable that the current reaction to any sentence featuring the word “Royal” is rapid recoil, or at least indulgence in some serious eyerolling. Don’t disappear yet, though – this Royal isn’t followed by “Wedding”… Instead, we have Royal Mob; a four-piece Danish band  inspired by Brit bands like Don Broco and Nothing But Thieves.

The band formed in 2015 under the name Mojave Desert Rebels and released EP ‘Through The Fire’ in the same year. A few years and a name change to something altogether catchier later, the band are now preparing to release their debut album ‘Cinematic’.

Starting powerfully with ‘Wanna Lie With You’, the warm, distorted tones of Morten Bernstorf Hansen’s guitar take the lead. It’s a thudding, steady track with a hint of Queens of the Stone Age about it. The Don Broco influences are evident in the superb basslines delivered by Guillaume Blanjean, a real highlight on tracks like ‘Snake’, which also served as the band’s first single, and ‘Save You’. The latter has a poppy, accessible sound that could easily be on mainstream radio; the pace it maintains throughout means it’s one of the best formed and most enjoyable songs on the album.

Although built on a solid musical foundation of riffs and steady drum beats, ‘Cinematic’ tends to plod and stumble its way through the ten tracks. It’s entirely inoffensive and listenable, but in the end lacks enough energy to carry full interest all the way to the end. Front man Gustav Lassen has a very distinctive voice that borders on monotone in places, with little life behind the words he’s singing. It works incredibly well on some songs, particularly when paired with backing vocals and punchy melodies, but allows more than a few to fall flat and sound a little samey.

‘Become’ is the tenth and final offering, a chilled song with more of the reverby guitar that’s employed throughout. It’s nicely atmospheric and Hansen’s riffs steal the show, a great closer for a roller-coaster ride of an album.

Overall, ‘Cinematic’ is a good effort but has more than a few struggles. It sounds like the work of a band who know what they want to achieve, but aren’t quite there yet. If Royal Mob can find the best use of Lassen’s vocal style and employ it throughout, there’s huge scope for them in future; there’s clearly no lack of talent and the bass alone makes this album well worth a listen.

GEM ROGERS

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