How Did We Get So Dark?

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Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

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  • Summary: The second full-length release for the British rock duo was first written instrumentally in sessions in Brighton, Los Angeles and Nashville before being recorded (with vocals) in Brussels.
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Top Track

Hook, Line & Sinker
She's got the devil on one shoulder And the other's getting colder She looks so good but it's not nearly Feeling like it's supposed to Going sold,... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Q Magazine
    Jun 14, 2017
    80
    There are moments when the slick threatens to overwhelm the raw, and not just when extraneous elements are introduced. But the gut-level punch of Kerr's bass and the thunderstruck gallop of Thatcher's drumming cannot be denied. [Aug 2017, p.106]
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    80
    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.
  3. Jun 16, 2017
    80
    Broadening the sonic palette helps sharpen the songs, and the result is a sophomore set that's ambitious and satisfying.
  4. Jun 16, 2017
    70
    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.
  5. Jun 22, 2017
    60
    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.
  6. Jun 19, 2017
    60
    While it starts thrillingly--the title track and Lights Out as good as anything they’ve ever done and reminiscent of Queens of the Stone Age at their most imperious--they fail to sustain their momentum, the middle of the album suffering from a surfeit of unremarkable filler.
  7. 40
    They’re still sculpted from the same small portfolio of sounds--basically, buzzing distorted guitar riffs and harmony chants borne along on pummelling drum barrages--which tends to impose too narrow an emotional range on the album. It’s like being hectored loudly by a bore.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jun 19, 2017
    10
    Sophomore jinx? I think NOT! Another excellent display of brutal rock and roll. I like when a band challenges themselves and attempts to doSophomore jinx? I think NOT! Another excellent display of brutal rock and roll. I like when a band challenges themselves and attempts to do something different They deserve this 10. Expand
  2. Jun 16, 2017
    9
    A genuine treat to listen to. A much more refined sound when compared to the first album and some slight variation on the formula they gainedA genuine treat to listen to. A much more refined sound when compared to the first album and some slight variation on the formula they gained notoriety for with their first album. It is essentially more of the same, but that's not always a bad thing; especially when it sounds as good as it does. Here's hoping that their next album mixes up their established sound a little bit more, but this album is still a great listen. Expand
  3. Jun 17, 2017
    9
    As a followup to their self titled album, How Did We Get So Dark feels like their first genuine step forward as a band. From front to back,As a followup to their self titled album, How Did We Get So Dark feels like their first genuine step forward as a band. From front to back, every song is presented with new, refreshing ideas, and brutally satisfying songs. The title track shows the character of their songs expanding to include vaster chords with layering vocal harmonies to make very interesting sounds, and a genuine fun time. Lights Out has been my favorite jam waiting for this album to come out, with its dramatic break downs and desperate vocals. I Only Lie When I Love You is a fine simple jam, though one of the weaker tracks. She's Creeping starts out grating but reveals complexity as the idea keeps layering up to make something worthwhile by the time of the last verse. Look Like You Know continues to show the sound of the band expanding beyond, adding more satisfying layering and style. The vocals and spooky little guitar add so much, and this is one of their best breakdowns. Where Are You Now is fast, easy to move to, and luckily doesn't drop on the building up they've done on the guitar harmonies. Don't Tell is probably the least remarkable song on the album, but still offers a nice little listen in between all the more frantic and demanding songs. Case in point, Hook Line and Sinker. This tune demands head banging hard enough to break your neck. Structurally it is as simplistic as some of my less favorite songs on this album, but rules what it does hard. A song to rock to. Hole In Your Heart is the song that convinces me the most that this is a band to watch. The new sounds they incorporate into their style are so nice, and it is very satisfying to hear their range expand. The outro is so massive and epic, that by the end when the electric piano comes back it feels like a satisfying exhale. And with Sleep, we get a fine outro with a steady jam with a dramatic chord progression, and a downer, long sustain, of an ending. Easily, one of my favorites of the year. Expand
  4. Jun 16, 2017
    7
    "How Did We Get So Dark?" is Royal Bloods follow up, to the surprise succes Debut "Royal Blood".
    This Album is loud; the bass, guitar and
    "How Did We Get So Dark?" is Royal Bloods follow up, to the surprise succes Debut "Royal Blood".
    This Album is loud; the bass, guitar and Thatchers drumming are played so raw that you sometimes forget that Royal Blood is a duo. The Album starts strong with the title track, followed by the lead Single "Lights Out", but loses tension more and more going forward, the fact that the songs sound similar doesn't help the Album either and give the impression, that they ran out of new ideas to fast, the short 34 minutes run time solidifies this assumption even more. I was sadly expecting a little bit more diversity by them, but it´s still a solid garage Rock Album and the listen through and through the Album wasnt bad either.
    Best Songs: How Did We Get So Dark, Lights Out, Hook,Line & Sinker and I only Lie When I Love You
    Worst Songs:She´s Creeping, Look Like You Know
    Recommendation: For fans of the Band and Garage Rock (or Rock in general) it's definitely worth a listen. Mainstream listeners can dip into it, with Lights Out and decide from there.
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  5. Jun 19, 2017
    6
    They seem to have become a parody of themselves.

    I LOVED their first album, but this one is just too similar with no stand out tracks. It
    They seem to have become a parody of themselves.

    I LOVED their first album, but this one is just too similar with no stand out tracks. It all sounds/feels like one long song reminiscent of the previous album. Although I like the band and can't wait to see them open for QOTSA in the fall, I can't really get behind this sophomore album like I did the first.
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  6. Jun 24, 2017
    6
    Aside from their exceptional debut, released in 2014, this album doesn't have any "memorable" song - a song that I can hear and say that itAside from their exceptional debut, released in 2014, this album doesn't have any "memorable" song - a song that I can hear and say that it fits with my mood or whatsoever. The first 2 songs and the last 2 are the only real good songs that doesn't feel like a "Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V" of the other songs. The middle of the album is a never-ending-filler - the same song with different lyrics.

    The band improved itself in drumming, 'bassing', singning and songwritting, you can see that on the album. But they just f... everything up making repeatitive songs.
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  7. Jun 25, 2017
    6
    A case of the difficult second album; HDWGSD? maintains the bands now trademarked slickness, but suffers from an absence of memorable hooksA case of the difficult second album; HDWGSD? maintains the bands now trademarked slickness, but suffers from an absence of memorable hooks and most of all, fresh ideas. The result is a listenable but unexciting lookalike of their debut that sounds more as if it was thrown together over a fortnight, than finely crafted over three years. Expand

See all 8 User Reviews