ROYWORLD Man In The Machine EMI (2008)
You know, there's lots of good acts coming through and there's still life in some of the old dogs but the world's stadium's continue to be dominated by the likes of Springsteen, Bon Jovi and others of the ilk.
So the question is, is there anyone capable of taking on the mantle, or is stadium rock set to become be a thing of the past? Is there anyone capable of dominating audiences both sides of the pond with commercial rock that retains its artistic integrity?
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen to the world of Royworld. Formed in 2006 at Goldsmiths University in London and serving their apprenticeship at working class gigs such as The Hope & Anchor and The Barfly, Royworld have an interesting set of commercial rock influences such as Floyd, Mac, Genesis and Roxy, as well as eighties acts such a Talking Heads, Kate Bush, Buggles, Sparks, and Gary Numan.
But the trick is being able to come up a material that is both commercial - rip roaring choruses, but which at the same time has genuine rock credibility. It's not an easy one to pull off, But Royworld have done a fantastic job with their debut album.
For a kick off, this album features 3 really excellent singles - Elasticity, Dust and the current single Brakes. And the quality of Man In The Machine is such that they don't stand out unduly from their 9 track mates.
First listenings reveal a cunning mix of Roxy Music, Buggles and Talking Heads, although the material does stand up in it's own right and has an 'up to date' feel. But what gives Royworld and edge over their contemporaries is the strength of the songwriting. There's little doubt that the hooks in each and every song are so deeply barbed that they will be swirling around in your head for days, weeks, and much longer.
Certainly, I would suggest that that there is longevity factor here that could see Man In The Machine regarded as something of a cornerstone for a flourishing career in years to come. Many could so easily be regarded as classics, and it's fairly easy to imagine them standing up remarkably well to a stripped back 'unplugged' delivery (which is no easy feat to pull off).
Which brings me back to the dilemma of the future of stadium rock. But after absorbing and being absorbed by the delights of Man In The Machine, it's fair to say that Royworld are contenders. Investigate this album - it's a gem.
Review by Pete Whalley
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