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SEMI ROYAL BLOOD – Shout Across Houses EP (CD, self-released)

Posted: January 6th, 2007, by Simon Minter

This is an impressively polished six-track EP, with tightness of playing and quality control that is surprising for a band that’s been together for less than a year. Semi Royal Blood may not be setting the world on fire with originality; these songs traverse familiar melodic and lyrical tightropes and suggest a cleaner Libertines, or a messier Razorlight. But in a world that’s currently rich with uninspired soundalike bands, Semi Royal Blood go beyond aping what seem to be obvious reference points. It could be the urgency of the vocals on lead track ‘Quandary’, or the up-there speediness of the keyboard-sprinkled ‘Take It Away’, or the subtly complex guitar lines on ‘Caught With A Feeling’, but here’s a band that seem to show glimpses of something beyond an average standard that’s often depressingly settled upon by many other bands.

For a debut, this is great stuff: it sounds to me like a collection of tracks that could easily stand up against the relentless avalanche of new bands mining this melodic, mini-epic-style of guitar pop. The challenge for Semi Royal Blood is to stay the course, and to hang on to the feelings of enjoyment and genuineness that are on display here. If they can hang in there, and develop their sound into something even more their own, they have a bright future.

Semi Royal Blood

Simon Minter

Simon joined diskant after falling on his head from a great height. A diskant legend in his own lifetime Simon has risen up the ranks through a mixture of foolhardiness and wit. When not breaking musical barriers with top pop combo Sunnyvale Noise Sub-element or releasing records in preposterously exciting packaging he relaxes by looking like Steve Albini.


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