The Royal Heist
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The Royal Heist

North Hollywood, California, United States | SELF

North Hollywood, California, United States | SELF
Band Rock Punk


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Wow, don’t be afraid when you start up The Royal Heist’s new album Midnight In The Garden Of Evil, Lock and Load, the albums first track, only appears to be a nod to 80’s hair metal, especially in the chorus. That vibe rolling in on their second track as well. Its not really until the albums third track, Gallows, that you get your first really good look at the high energy insanity of The Royal Heist. It’s a bit muddled sound-wise for a bit with everything kind of coming together in one long blur of sound but lead singer Collin Pulsipher is a ferocious vocalist whose voice is just one of those unique ones that stick in your mind. I’m reminded of Eric Reed Boucher aka Jello Biafra, The Klaxons, and a dozen other bands I can’t exactly put my finger on at the moment. Pulsipher's range and vocal style is just wide and regardless of delivery its consistently powerful.

At about track six the mix suddenly becomes perfect. All the instruments find their own space and Pulsipher's vocals slip right in-between. Could it be that the album calms a little towards the back half? Maybe. In any case the band really becomes focused and you get a good glimpse at their style. Guitars have a dark resonance to them that really supply a dramatic effect to Pulsipher's already emotionally drenched vocals. Bass is laid out like a fine line seemingly carrying the rest of the bands sound on its back. Drums are straight rock providing a steady rhythm and coming in strong when need be but not the bands strongest point.

The Royal Heist consider themselves a band that would cater to fans of The Arctic Monkeys, The Clash, Kings of Leon, and Dirty Pretty Things. From my personal experience with those bands I would have to say no, a hefty no. That’s not a bad thing though. The Royal Heist actually have their legs planted firmly in place able to stand on their own two feet and don’t really need comparison. Their sound is passionate, strong, lyrically they have depth, and with as talented a lead singer as they have (yes I went there again, just go to their myspace page and judge for yourself) in a few years my guess is that kids making music might compare themselves to The Royal Heist in regard to the sound their trying to produce. While the album itself isn’t perfect, mostly due to what seems a problem with the mix at the front end of the album, it is an album that clearly has staying power. As always final judgment falls to you. I highly recommend in any case. Enjoy.


the royal heist
Midnight In The Garden Of Evil (Self-Released)


This review is brief and unrated, to allow us broader coverage of more albums in a shorter amount of time.

At first listen, The Royal Heist may sound like they're riding the coattails of bands like The Bravery and Bloc Party, but their full-length album, Midnight In The Garden Of Evil, is actually quite infectious in its own right.

There's no question that The Royal Heist rely on a certain amount of groovy dancefloor savvy -- as evidenced on songs like "Beg for More" and "Sin City" -- but they also have this level of rock n' roll swagger that most bands will never touch.

For all the songs that would fit on a nu-wave mix, there are songs like "Dance with the Devil" that are equal parts The Blood Brothers (minus the screaming) and Against Me!. The Royal Heist aren't blowing minds by writing emotionally gut-wrenching trash; they've, instead, given us a great pop record that is fit for people who want to dance as much as it is for guys who listen to Refused. Stylistically, it's one of the rare records that successfully crosses genre without effort, which is few and far between these days.

Midnight In The Garden Of Evil
3 Stars

Not all dance floors are created equally. Some are just a little darker, a little sleazier, a little sweatier, making them just plain better than your average club. It’s exactly this kind of place The Royal Heist is determined to be the soundtrack to with their album, Midnight In The Garden Of Evil.

Like a lot of post-punk revivalists, The Royal Heist has their eyes focused on the dance floor. What separates them from their peers is atmosphere. Rather than going for high drama or pure style, the band taps into something inherently seedier. Like the title implies, this is late night music for people who are looking to get down while they get up to no good.

With its fuzzed-out bass and frantic, screaming gang chorus, “Lock And Load” opens the album like an invitation to cut loose and see what life is like on the darker side of the dance floor, with the bass line slithering around the thump of the kick drum like a snake in the titular garden. Further in, the distorted vocals on “Take Take Take” give the song a grimier sound, scraping away any layers of polish to give the song a rawer, less calculated feeling.

What’s really impressive is that the album never lets up on the listener, delivering tracks after track of solid dance jams without ever offering a break in the form of a ballad or little interstitial diversions. The non-stop thump of tracks like “Fight Or Flight” and “My Enemy” show a band that isn’t willing to let the party stop for any reason, and with the album clocking in at under forty minutes, that’s not really a bad thing since the album doesn’t really stick around long enough to overstay its welcome.

In the simplest terms, Midnight In The Garden Of Evil is a dance record. The Royal Heist isn’t begging you to marvel over the album’s production or demanding that you be amazed at their complexity. Instead, they’ve served up an album that only asks for you to let loose and enjoy it. Fortunately for us, they’ve made it an easy request to fulfill. – GREGORY HEANEY
- Revolt

The Royal Heist - Midnight In The Garden Of Evil
Written by: PP on 2/8-10 at 21:41:29
Los Angeles based The Royal Heist have timed their self-released sophomore album "Midnight In The Garden Of Evil" perfectly, at least if the plan is an attempt to flow with the recent mainstream success of Kings Of Leon. These boys specialize in a particularly dancefloor oriented indie rock that's sure to appeal to anyone who counts bands like The Killers, Kaiser Chiefs, Franz Ferdinand and Arctic Monkeys among their favorites, and they're actually not too bad at diversifying their expression to stand out from the crowd. They have a real asset in the form of their singer, who prefers a screamed yell instead of the typical mainstream-ready clean style that most other bands use, which gives him an ooze of arrogance just about strong enough to make him one of the most confident singers in the genre. He'll quickly remind you of the semi-chaotic delivery of the Foxy Shazam vocalist on their debut album, plus another famous vocalist whose affiliation I can't for the love of God remember even though the two sound just alike.

Another refreshing idea found within Royal Heist's music is the bass-guitar orientation. Instead of being merely assigned a supporting role, most songs see the bass guitar take the lead, providing all the beats and the groovy rhythms, while the guitar is just filling in where necessary. This has the effect of creating some rave-ready dance beats that are sure to kick ass in a live environment, plus it gives the songs a fuzzy, vibrant feel that has a certain no-frills energy to it. The funny thing is, this is mainstream indie rock at heart, but yet it feels chaotic like an underground punk venue in the middle of Camden in some places. Somehow the band is able to balance the two nicely, creating a niche for themselves, while still essentially sounding like the big guns in the genre. There are enough catchy rhythms and memorable chorus parts to feed an indie rock street team, so my guess is that a label contract can't be too far away right now. [6½]
Download: Lock And Load, Gallows, Take Take Take
For the fans of: Franz Ferdinand, Kings Of Leon, Foxy Shazam, Arctic Monkeys
Listen: Myspace

Release date 20.04.2010
Self-Released -


The Scene ep (2007)
Midnight In The Garden Of Evil (2010)



A highly-volatile group of gentlemen from Los Angeles, The Royal Heist posses a unique swagger rarely seen in modern indie rock bands. Formed in 2005, the dance-heavy act features Everett Connors (bass), Collin Pulsipher (vocals), Charlie Paz (drums), and Donato McDermott (guitar). With their new full-length album “Midnight In The Garden Of Evil” (2010), The Royal Heist are pushing themselves into a category all their own. Driving bass lines, a rock-solid backbeat, subtle guitar riffs, and fiercely unique vocal styling set them apart from the hoards of cookie-cutter musicians currently in the forefront. Their high-energy live show, combined with a razor-sharp look and sound, make The Royal Heist a force to be reckoned with.

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