Royal Sons – “Praise & Warships” CD Review

Royal Sons’ debut “Praise & Warships” is a welcomed nod to the 70’s style desert rock sound…with a Texas twist!

Royal Sons’ debut full length “Praise & Warships” is a welcomed nod to the 70’s style desert rock sound…with a Texas twist, of course. There is something good in the air around Fort Worth, and this band is proof of that.

The album kicks off with “The Devil’s Knockin’” and what a start. The riff has an instant memorable groove that really sets the tone for the rest of the album. “Shufflin’ Shoes” is next up, proving you don’t need words to have a hook. This track sticks in your head. There is a taunting tone in ,vocalist, Blake Parish’s voice as he sings “la da da dada dada…..la da da da.” The next song “Nobody Needs to Know” comes in with haunting vocals over a sinister riff. This band is able to put a swagger in doom that nobody else can, and it’s really what sets them apart from the pack. “Let It Burn” is the first single off of the record. The tune’s slow build creates a great dynamic and places an anxiety in the listener with the opening line “We’re all out in the wilderness/trying to find our way home/Maybe there’s nothing there to go back to/Might as well let it burn.” The next track “Orale Culeros” is a personal favorite. This one is another slow build starting off with a dobro and a scene that ropes the listener in immediately. There is an irresistible dirty grit that permeates this song. “The Eye” is next up, and it’s a banger. The droning tone shifts drastically as the chorus kicks in with a well delivered scream. Dynamics are at the forefront of every song, and this one is an excellent example of it.

A little over halfway through the album, the title track kicks in. “Praise & Warships” is a hard hitter, and oh…that slide guitar. “Familiars” is an eerie number with an infectious drum intro and lyrics like “They see through your eyes/They haunt your footsteps/Just you try to hide.” The next track “Taste of the Whip” is a pretty straight forward rock n roll song. It’s fast and in your face, again showing the band’s dynamic prowess. “Too Far Gone” jumps back in with that familiar western psychedelic sound but soon makes a switch. This track is a roller coaster of a song moving from upbeat verses to slowed down segues. The album comes to an end with “Davey.” This is a somber offering painting a dark picture…a life lost to the blues….Can’t we all relate? “Praise & Warships” is a fantastic record! Though similar to the sounds of Black Sabbath and Saint Vitus, Royal Sons have really paved a road all their own. This record is throwback, yet progressive.

Tongue and cheek, yet dark and brooding. Johnny McConlogue, Blake Parish, Chad Beck, Javier Garza, and Marcus Gonzales are really onto something special, and you need to hear what these fellas are doing!



1. The Devil’s Knockin’
2. Shufflin’ Shoes
3. Nobody Has to Know
4. Let It Burn
5. Órale Cueros
6. The Eye
7. Praise & Warships
8. Familiars
9. Taste of the Whip
10. Too Far Gone
11. Davey

James Villa