A Royal Secret
By Col Bernasconi | 20 June 2011
Drummer Matt and singer Mark, sweat the technique at Manly Fisho's circa 2010. PIc: Jason Dreggs.
No, Prince William hasn’t been caught in the Palace stables strides down and knee deep in the backside of a 15 hands high Spanish stallion called Allen, but I have been holding onto another royal secret that needs outing.
On the Mid North Coast of New South Wales lives a band by the name of Royal Chant. I actually caught the band support You Am I at the Manly Fisho’s last year and was suitably impressed. I decided to pay special attention to the forth-coming release of their debut album – only problem being is that when ‘Raise Your Glass & Collapse’ did eventually land in my lap I selfishly removed it from the Tracks office and never returned it.
Placing it on high rotation on all listening devices at my disposal... iphone on the train, ipod between airports and CD format in my car [because it’s always louder and stronger in hard copy], and denying my fellow co workers is one thing (fuck them), but neglecting to share the enjoyment these new found tunes of whimsical woe with you, our treasured patrons, is not cool.
So without further do I introduce to you Royal Chant. Raise Your Glass & Collapse is an album backed by a rollicking fender soaked riff squelch, pummelling drums and sweetly tortured vocals. Like a dry Bombay gin based cocktail this record is one part mature taste and one part intelligent tang – that leaves the remaining two parts emotional delivery that invokes instability and isolation. Have you had a gin bender?
It’s this mix that makes a good debut album. You don’t want to be an easy read on your first outing. And there’s more to the sum of these parts. You’ll pick up on the influence of Bob Dylan in the lyrics and vocals of singer Mark [an American ex-pat], but it won’t keep you for long – Marks the better singer of the two.
And lastly, I’d quantify that live, Royal Chant play these songs with such a gutsy and a knifey danger the show I witnessed hit the refresh button in me that killed the ‘creeping cynical critic’ off for a little while longer. Drummer Matt’s entangled mess of arms, drumsticks and blonde hair worthy of an admission price alone.
– Col B
Check the video for their single ‘Coughing Fits’ below
Vote for them at Triple J unearthed HERE
For gigs check their website: Royal Chant