10 Songs, 33 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Royal Bliss are nothing if not survivors—they’ve endured years of hard touring and label changes, not to mention lead singer Neal Middleton’s near-fatal fall from a balcony in 2003. These experiences lend depth to Chasing the Sun, the Salt Lake City–based band’s self-released seventh album. The quartet have refined their blend of classic hard rock and post-grunge with each successive release; Middleton’s commanding snarl defines the band’s music, supported by Taylor Richards’ burly guitar work and the adamant rhythm section of bassist Dwayne Crawford and drummer Jake Smith. Royal Bliss switch from blazing frontal assaults (“Welcome”) to strutting funk grooves (“Rock You All Night Long”) and melodic arena-sized ballads (“Impossible”) with easy confidence. Lyrically, “Dreamer” and “Home” radiate a scarred but defiant idealism, while “Cry Sister” and “Turn Me On” seethe with erotic tension and danger. The album’s most revealing moment may be “Drink My Stupid Away,” a piano-centered confession that hints at the rough road the band have sometimes traveled.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Royal Bliss are nothing if not survivors—they’ve endured years of hard touring and label changes, not to mention lead singer Neal Middleton’s near-fatal fall from a balcony in 2003. These experiences lend depth to Chasing the Sun, the Salt Lake City–based band’s self-released seventh album. The quartet have refined their blend of classic hard rock and post-grunge with each successive release; Middleton’s commanding snarl defines the band’s music, supported by Taylor Richards’ burly guitar work and the adamant rhythm section of bassist Dwayne Crawford and drummer Jake Smith. Royal Bliss switch from blazing frontal assaults (“Welcome”) to strutting funk grooves (“Rock You All Night Long”) and melodic arena-sized ballads (“Impossible”) with easy confidence. Lyrically, “Dreamer” and “Home” radiate a scarred but defiant idealism, while “Cry Sister” and “Turn Me On” seethe with erotic tension and danger. The album’s most revealing moment may be “Drink My Stupid Away,” a piano-centered confession that hints at the rough road the band have sometimes traveled.

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