73. ROYAL BLOOD (self-titled)
You would be forgiven if, based on the record sleeve, you thought this debut album from UK duo Royal Blood dropped this year, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic - that sure does look like a mask. You would be wrong, though. This record was nominated for the British Mercury Prize in 2014. The unique thing about this band (aside from being a pure duo) is that their main instruments are bass and drums only. That’s right - no guitars here. Listen to pretty much any song, though, and you would find that hard to believe. The magic is in lead singer/bassist Mike Kerr’s use of effects. Getting back to the music, this is a straight up rock record. I can imagine seeing them play this music live would be quite the experience. Definitely start out with ‘Ten Tonne Skeleton’ and then go back to ‘Come On Over,’ ‘Figure It Out’ and ‘Blood Hands.’ And, remember, there are no six string electric guitars on this record.