Reviews Blacklist Royals Semper Liberi

Blacklist Royals

Semper Liberi

Paper + Plastick seem to release new albums by fairly new bands at a pretty regular clip. Blacklist Royals are just the newest in that line. The band plays what has become a very popular style of punk rock at this point. Punk bands playing rock and roll is definitely not a new thing. Gaslight Anthem has shown that it can even be quite popular.

The problem in general is unlike TGA a lot of bands fail to master their own identity and merely play passable songs with a “punk rock“attitude. The question is where do The Blacklist Royals fit into this equation? Well they make a very admirable run at it.

The band includes some different markers to make the most of their songwriting. This includes piano and organ to bolster the sound and give it a more retro feel overall. The band includes acoustic guitars at point making for a more complete and overall rock sound. They also manage to work in a harmonica a few times for a true skuzzy bar rock feel (this is a compliment). The singer’s voice is strong yet not entirely distinct. It has a strong grit to it that certainly differentiates it from the others singing in the band but not from other singer of this style. The rest of the instruments are certainly well played but nothing out of the ordinary. All these things build a very capable band.

This is a strong release as the songs are clearly written well. The production feels a little cleaner than necessary for this type of music. All things considered the band could be onto bigger things very soon. The songs are catchy and have good hooks. Is this a classic album or band? Not even close. The band is clearly at the start of their growth and if they keep growing they could be pretty special. Their youth is their advantage as well as fault line. The foibles of youth let them get away with a little less strength in the songwriting department. Unfortunately most times bands make up for this with a more energetic performance. The Blacklist Royals Fail in that note as while the songs are generally upbeat they don’t feel like any extra energy is being spent playing them. For a band in this style that may be one of the biggest faults you can make. Here’s hoping that there’s another record coming from these guys with more oomph in it.

6.4 / 10Jon E.
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
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6.4 / 10

6.4 / 10

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