The music starts low, the listener is being eased in on the opening track, “The Brighter Side”, but energy quickly hits you when the drums are at full force while being led by the picking of the guitar. It’s not minutes, but mere seconds before it’s evident that The Royal Sons are the real deal. Their quintessential pop/rock sound is backed by a palpable DIY work ethic which gives little, if anything, to complain about from their new EP, ‘Los Angeles & I’.
Kickstarter funded, the band has a solid group of fans supporting and connecting with the new music. In the age of digital music, album releases can get a bit fuzzy, but ‘Los Angeles & I’ is actually the first “real” album, pre-dated by dozens of demos, for the band. Following the opening track lies “Vicious Love”, a tale of youth, set to music in such a way that immediately sets you back in time. Beyond the initial connection, that’s easy to feel with the track, is a deeper substance calling you back after you’ve gotten familiar with all the song’s catchy “ahhhhs”.
“Tidal Wave” is a break in the album that acts as a time for reflection. Lulling the listener, as an all acoustic track, the chorus falsettos emphasis the mood the song aims for. Though a powerful track when the time is right, often it’s easy to look forward to the busier “Keep My Head Up”. Even though “Vicious Love” is most likely the album’s strongest and immediately memorable song, the runner up would have to be “Clocks Don’t Move”. It grooves to a steady beat, an easy listen that also employs perfectly timed “ahh’s,” though not as predictable as earlier songs.
The Royal Sons’ Vicious Love
Whether quick and upbeat or soft and reflective, taken as a whole, the EP really contains a continuity that screams quality. The downfall, when grasping at straws, is its length. The album begs for even just a few more songs extending the 21 minutes to a healthy drive duration. It’s easy to see where the band goes from here though with a proper LP.
“You sold your soul to Rock ‘n Roll and never said goodbye, Los Angeles & I don’t need you by our side”. Line after line, the title track throws out sharp and witty remarks that aim to heal a hurting heart. A brutal closing track that pits the city as a partner in crime, one that is hurting over the loss just as much as the songwriter. All in all, the 6 songs add up to an absolute stunning release for The Royal Sons, especially for those who enjoy one that certainly is only the beginning.
Written by Tyler Hayes
OurVinyl Contributor | Music Blogger | Writer