Album of the Week: ROYAL CHANT – ‘Blank Verse’

It’s been 11 years and 7 albums for Aussie rockers Royal Chant. We first started riding the wave with 2015’s ‘Just Trying To Meet You‘ even though ‘Coughing Fits‘, the first-ever single from the band was released way back in 2009. Over the years they’ve gone from the original three-piece up to four, back to three, then two, and then back up again and now back down to two (Wade Mobbs on drums). American expatriate Mark Spence has been the only constant other than James Carthew, a member in absentia – who lives about 15,000 kms away from Australia in the US.

I get the feeling Mark likes to keep himself busy, or perhaps he has some demons to keep at bay because, in a pandemic haze, Royal Chant has dropped their second album, in less than 10 months. The new album ‘Blank Verse‘ continues the hook-happy fuzzy guitar-driven lo-fi garage-pop. It’s a basement affair, and there’s still solid nods to the 90s luminaries Dramarama, Archers of Loaf and Guided By Voices, with tracks like ‘New Slums‘, ‘Jet Fighter‘, ‘Welcome to the Mumble‘, ‘Full Throttle Starling’, and ‘Pretentious Mess‘. There’s also the Preservation Act era Kinks-like psychedelia of ‘Meet the Wreck‘ and the power-pop of ‘Plastic Soul‘ a song that plays in early Strokes territory with its melodic hooks.

Blank Verse‘ was mixed remotely by Carthew.

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One foot in the door
The other one in the gutter

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