How Did We Get So Dark?

Royal Blood - How Did We Get So Dark?
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2017 Ratings: #536 / 831
User Score
Based on 271 ratings
2017 Ratings: #680
Liked by 1 person
June 16, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Warner / Label
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Northern Transmissions

Few albums manage to feel as consistently single-laden as How Did We Get So Dark? and fewer manage to do it with such a consistent sound to them. Royal Blood pushes themselves unbelievably hard on this amazing record to make sure they’re not just known as a cool breakout band.


Here on second album ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’, we welcome another 40 minutes of Royal Blood exploring their home turf on 10 shamelessly melodic rock monsters that hit home like a nail gun to the eardrum.


‘How Did We Get So Dark?’ is one hell of a beast; but while their first outing had as much subtlety as a whack around the face, this time they’ve born a more considered - but sinister - creature.

Here, they not only sound brawny but nimble, navigating twists in their riffs and rhythms without a hitch and without flash.

'How Did We Get So Dark?' is unlikely to win over critics who prefer their licks raw and vocals scratchy. There's nothing Real with a capital 'R' here, it's a record intended for garnering groupies, not scathingly disassembling modern life. 


How Did We Get So Dark? has plenty of appeal, possibly just edging the debut, and is the sound of a band enjoying their niche, but how long that can last has to be the concern here.

No Ripcord

It lacks the same amount of truly great songs their debut offered. Still, there are few bands that can match Royal Blood at their heavy, melodic best, and How Did We Get So Dark? proves to be a thrilling - if limited - listen from one of the UK’s fastest-rising rock bands.


It sees the band move forward from, and in many ways improve upon, what they were already good at, with a few – mostly worthwhile – new ideas thrown in for good measure. On the other hand, what evolution we do get is minimal and not quite enough to fully justify the less anthemic tone of the album.

Drowned in Sound

How Did We Get So Dark? is a big, grown-up rock album with all the riffs and compositional disappearing down rabbit holes we've come to yearn for from Royal Blood, but there are several songs here that are also primed for radio.


Despite how thunderous Thatcher sounds behind the drums or how dirty Kerr's bass tone is, unfortunately there isn't a pedal for more robust and compelling songwriting. That said, you'll probably be headbanging too much to care.

The Independent

Royal Blood’s energies here are expended not on expansive outreach but intensive simplicity: any added layers simply buttress the basic riffs of tracks.

The Guardian

The duo hurl everything at them – harmonies, killer bass sounds, presumably the studio’s kitchen sink – but the tunes aren’t nearly as strong as, say, the first album’s Ten Tonne Skeleton.

While the writing is something to be desired, Royal Blood provide yet another solid record in their ever growing hard rock, fun as hell, catchy and all in all great discography.

Favorite jams: How Did We Get So Dark, Hook, Line & Sinker, Where Are You Know?

Lest Favorite: Don't Tell
Royal Blood are unfortunately already starting to sound samey on their second release. So much so that it just feels like an extension of their debut. Even so, the quality of the music hasn't degraded, so I really can't justify giving this a lower score. Lots of cuts on here still sound great, I just wish there was some form of evolution for the band on this album, like at all.
I’m not even sure this would have got a release if it weren’t for the success of the unspectacular but proficient debut.

This is some demo quality underwritten formulaic dreck right here with a hard on for Josh Homme style backing vox that won’t quit.
This sounds exactly the same as their debut (which I liked a lot) but with worse songwriting.
Very safe song writing that brings pretty much nothing new to the table. Downgrade from their debut.
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Track List

  1. How Did We Get So Dark?
  2. Lights Out
  3. I Only Lie When I Love You
  4. She's Creeping
  5. Look Like You Know
  6. Where Are You Now?
  7. Don't Tell
  8. Hook, Line & Sinker
  9. Hole in Your Heart
  10. Sleep
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Added on: April 11, 2017