At this point in their career, Royal Thunder have been through a lot together.
Following the release of their critically acclaimed sophomore album Crooked Doors in 2015, the divorce and subsequent working relationship between primary songwriter/guitarist Josh Weaver and bassist/vocalist Mlny Parsonz became a well-documented topic of discussion. The vulnerability and emotional angst that saturated the record was an enticing catalyst for media speculation, with some critics even drawing comparisons to Fleetwood Mac's legendary album, Rumours.
But while the subject matter of their latest effort, WICK, seems a bit more cryptic, the songs remain just as emotionally charged.
Uncertainty and regret bubble to the surface on "Plans," a gloomy-sounding, gospel-tinged acoustic track designed to showcase Parsonz's incredibly powerful and dynamic vocal range; there's a warm roominess to the track that accentuates her capacity for soulful, heart-wrenching vocals. "Burning Tree" introduces a falsetto call-and-answer element that hints at some increased experimentation, while "April Showers" continues to expand the band's Southern-fried retro vibe.
Royal Thunder borrow elements from many different sounds, but they've found a way to emphasize the parts that make them unique. In an industry full of cookie-cutter sentiment, it's refreshing to find a band with the courage to wear their heart on their sleeve as boldly as they do on WICK. (Spinefarm)