Nashville’s Blacklist Royals have been going for a while now. Built around twin brothers Nat and Rob Rufus, the band headed to the studio with producer Ted Hutt (Flogging Molly, Gaslight Anthem) to record what would become “Die Young With Me”, the band’s fourth album.
Previous releases spawned a lot of comparisons with The Gaslight Anthem and as soon as opening track “Righteous Child” kicks in, you’ll find that these guys aren’t doing a lot to disregard that notion. With plenty of rock ‘n roll vibes, this could easily have been a track off of “The ’59 Sound”. They do however sound more mature and progressive this time around. Elsewhere on the album we find the brothers looking up to the likes of Paul Westerberg (“The Common Things”) or Bruce Springsteen (“Hearts On Fire”) or honoring their Southern roots on country-tinged tunes like “Skeleton Crew” and “Take It / Leave It”. It all ties in together nicely with catchy hooks and choruses all over the place.
A couple more changes in tempo would’ve been nice but overall “Die Young With Me” is a solid album that shows a band who have hit their stride and follow it through. It hits all the right notes, even if some of them do still ring alike.