With the precision of a bullet in the chamber, The Royal Heist are corked in to deliver–and that’s just how they start their debut spin, Midnight In The Garden of Evil, released digitally April 20th. The record is produced by the band and Max Coane, the same man behind the sound of recent punk legends The Bronx, and all involved manage to create that nonstop rock and roll sound that gets right in the ears without pushing it’s way through. The first thing heard is the sound of a gun being cocked as opener ‘Lock and Load’ yanks us tight to the LA boys of ambition and head-bowed swagger. No one said this was the stuff of innocence, but it’s certainly not without it’s polish.
The Royal Heist do something I wish more rock bands leaning toward the dance floor did, they scream and cuss and don’t pause for backlash. Think Arctic Monkeys after a decade of lust and letdowns in the LA night. The band’s colors are a sharp black, white and gold in the first picture you’ll see on their MySpace page, and the theme doesn’t stray in lyrical content. You’ll be “swinging from the gallows” if you cross the Heist, as vocalist Collin Pulsifer churns on the third track over a masterful four-on-the-floor beat and the boiling guitar pulse of Donato McDermott.
Then again, we’re all victim to those more tender of feelings from time to time, no matter how nice a suit we’re jiving in, or how slick our haircuts are as that fireball eyes us from across the bar. Midnight In The Garden of Evil wails more of the tribulations of the dancefloor than it’s gleeful abandon. ‘My Enemy’ begs us to hear the truth in the lifestyle as “genders collide” and we get “fooled and betrayed,” “head hung” and just as we’re ready to “throw in the towel,” the Royal Heist come screaming in without fail to drummer Charlie Paz’s kick and bassist Everett Connor’s grooveline, convincing all in attendance to “go another round.”
You might not be able to forget those stale memories of spite and unrequite when you’re at this low-lit dance party, but you certainly won’t stop moving. This is the one thing the average indie listener might find lacking if they like a bit of down-to-earth in their passion. Pounding songs saturated with dark, bittersweet dramatics and extended screams of emotion, I’d expect nothing less from a band trying to get the bodies moving instead of the brains storming. To all those sitting glum and defeated in the corner, The Royal Heist defy you not to push your way to the center of the floor and yell your way through every chorus. The disc clocks in at 38 minutes, just enough to accompany anyone getting ready for any less-than-presentable pursuits the night may be offering. It’s fire and brimstone through a very singable indie dance-rock record.
The band stands out, coming from a town loaded with dime-a-dozen indie scuzzers who tend to make a name for none but their student loan collectors. The Royal Heist are different, very sharp and keenly focused. If another listener makes a reference to dark, shiny objects when describing The Royal Heist, people may start bleeding. When you’re looking for the night on the town with a sinister tinge and a refined swagger, Midnight In The Garden of Evil offers to aid you. Look for links to the digital release of the debut record through the band’s MySpace page soon http://www.myspace.com/theroyalheist. These guys are remarkably unsigned, but I don’t see how that could last for too much longer; that is, if the venues know what’s good for ‘em.
Written By: Sean Flynn