by Dan Goldin (@post_trash_)
They say to "get you a band that can do both". Well, The Royal They can do it all. They can be heavy and destructive. They can make sugary pop. They can make the word "Sludgefucker" something to admire. More often than not, they can do all those things at once, creating a delicate balance. Its been just over a year since the band released their self-titled debut album, a great record in its own right, but something has changed in the Brooklyn based trio on their upcoming album, Foreign Being, due out January 13th via King Pizza Records. Their latest is a whole new beast, a vicious and clawing record full of incredible growth and dynamics. Its the type of album that makes a statement and the type of album that should take them beyond their "best kept secret" status. Perhaps a statement on our current times (as album opener "C.N.T." would have you believe) or maybe the band's natural progression, either way, The Royal They have created a record exploding with power-pop melodies and crushing heaviness, one of next year's first must-hear albums.
Until then, we have the aforementioned "Sludgefucker," a song that truly finds the band at their very best. It's a strange concept to analyze a song in thirty second movements, but the jarring nature of the record's lead single is a rollercoaster ride from start to finish, each twist and turn as engaging as the next. Opening with a fuzzy riff and Michelle Hutt's dizzying vocal melody, she sardonically sings "I'm so happy to be happy, I don't even know what I'm happy for". Then... the sludge comes. The band dive into violent distortion and a brutal downbeat amid a primal onslaught of drums. momentarily abandoning all hope and simply ripping with glorious intensity. Just as everything threatens to spiral out of control, the band lurk back into a hypnotic groove and a false sense of calm. Spoiler alert: it doesn't last. As Hutt and Darrell Dumas' guitars begin to stab through the jittery riffs, drummer Rick Martinez goes brilliantly berserk, pounding out crashing polyrhythms that would make Lightning Bolt's Brian Chippendale proud. The band snap back into the verse before swelling into a crescendo, finally erupting into a rapid succession of everything that came before in a calculated mess of noise and anxious energy. It's really something to behold. Tell your folks.
The Royal They's Foreign Being is out January 13th via King Pizza Records.