Royal Tusk offer an impressive follow up to 2014’s ‘Mountain’ EP
Released on the 6th of May 2016, ‘DealBreaker’ is the debut full-length album from Royal Tusk, following their 2014 EP ‘Mountain’.
Produced by the award-winning Eric Ratz (Billy Talent, Monster Truck, Big Wreck, Arkells), ‘DealBreaker’ has something to offer for everyone. The songs on the album are like a community; each one showcasing its own distinct personality, yet they are tightly bound together by a common ground, meaning that none are left feeling out of place.
Opening with the volcanic ‘Dynamo’, ‘DealBreaker’ plunges you headfirst into a world of fast-paced fury. You barely have chance to buckle in before you are whisked away to the next stops on the album. The tracks are plotted out like ‘X’s on a treasure map, with each offering its own little alcove of gold; whether it be the stylishly slick instrumentation of ‘Curse the Weather’, the funky sing-along chorus of ‘Cold on Me’, or the epic bridge of ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ that begs to be chanted. A highlight of the album’s first half comes in the form of ‘Soon’, a melodic gem with soulful verses and a danceable chorus, broken up beautifully with a heart-rending bridge.
The general tone of ‘DealBreaker’ changes in the second half, a change that is marked by the album’s leading track ‘Fever’, which tells the tale of a ‘love-lost sleepwalker, searching for clarity’ according to the band. Slightly sleepier in places though no less energised or impassioned overall, the second half of ‘DealBreaker’ showcases an alternative side of Royal Tusk that may have been shadowed slightly by the sheer velocity of the preceding songs.
‘I’ll Wait’ is like the second half’s equivalent to ‘Soon’, with its bouncy chorus and nicely crafted bridge; it’s the kind of song you could have fun with given the right crowd. Following it is the airily light-hearted-sounding ‘Not So Fast’, whose gentle verses blossom into a chorus of gritty yet heart-felt vocals and backing instrumentation. ‘Above Ground’ and the album’s title track ‘DealBreaker’ offer the last ounce of fire before the album turns down a new road just in time for the close.
The closing track, entitled ‘So Long the Build Up’ – as well as ‘Not So Fast’ – show the most notable change in the album’s second half. These melancholic slowies depict a side to the band that had not been previously displayed on the album, and they really highlight a range in the band’s capabilities as songwriters. The former is a lot more spaced out in comparison to its predecessors; the vocals and instrumentation are allowed the chance to breathe. It captures the same melancholic feeling that comes with the ride home after an incredible trip. As the final guitar solo of ‘DealBreaker’ sings the album to sleep, you realise that that’s exactly what it was; a journey that you already find yourself itching to take again.
‘DealBreaker’ is out now via MapleMusic Recordings.
This Royal Tusk article was written by Tyler Turner, a GIGsoup contributor