IT IS THE album you didn't know you were waiting on – a collection of songs both finely-tuned and abrasive; both angst-ridden and reflective.

Visceral is the debut album from Ayrshire trio Royal Bloom and it is something of a joy to behold for those of a certain persuasion.

In part, it is a pastiche of the golden age of Seattle grunge, but the 11 tracks are riddled with more contemporary influences, creating a more rounded body of work.

Its powerful songwriting adds serious credibility, instead of relying only on the acerbic guitars and sharp vocals to carry the energy.

The band – consisting of Lewis Wise, Kyle McKnight and Aaron Dick – also launched the album with a tremendous show at The Cathouse in Glasgow that really showcased the raw vitality of Visceral.

Even with a cursory listen, it is clear there is a lot put into this album. As such, The Weekender has gleaned a little added insight from frontman Lewis Wise who gives us a Track by Track of Visceral...



The title originally came from learning about what they called the men who cleaned up after the Chornobyl disaster and has no correlation with the actual song, it just stuck. Liquidators was our final attempt at jamming out before we went to record the album. We knew there was one left in us, and it turns out the juice was worth the squeeze as we came out with one of our favourite tracks. We knew this would be a great opener to the album as it was just raw, angsty energy. Part of us wanted to save it for the next album or release it as a single. It came to us during a rehearsal break and I was jamming something out, Kyle took attention to it and told me to keep going, we sat a recorder down and just blasted through it. It did capture a moment in time. It was perfect for us on the first demo take.



A song about knowing something isn't forever, from a relationship to a situation. Asking myself will this make me a better person or will it just be a bitter memory like a stain on a canvas that serves no purpose. This was one of the first singles to come out before the album that gained us a bit of traction. At this current time, it's one of our most well-known tracks probably for that reason. It's as if this song was a prediction that came true, I just didn't want to accept it at the time.


Track 3GRIT

Grit is all about the journey. As typical as this sounds, it's about looking for a sense of direction at a time when nobody had any. A pivotal point in growing up and looking for answers in all the wrong places.



It doesn't feel right to open up completely about what this song is about. Like most of our songs, I prefer to keep most of our songs open to the listener. By this I mean instead of telling the listener I prefer the listener to come to their conclusion about what the song means to them at that moment in time. So, in short, it is whatever you want it to be about.



A failed relationship gone bad, real bad. From lies, rumours to downward spirals to hate to not giving a f***.



It's almost what it says on the can. Putting off emotions and finding a way through to the solution. Bittersweet, Flakes of Snow and Suffer Tomorrow were all recorded in the same session years before the actual release of the album. This is due to us having to take a break and re-evaluate our plan moving forward. The rest of the tracks were recorded a year later.



This track was originally supposed to be recorded with the last tracks mentioned, but there wasn't something right about it. So, after a few rewrites and tightening up the playing we eventually got around to it with the other tracks. You can think of it as being about finding something that allows you to truly express yourself and be comfortable in your own boots.



One of the hardest songs I've ever attempted to write. The song is about a tragic event that occurred in my life and the lives of those around me due to the loss of a best friend and fellow musician. The song sat on the back burner for a long time as I just couldn't bring myself to write it, specifically the lyrics. Re-write after re-write I felt as though I could not convey what I wanted to get across. To this day I am still unsure.



Also known as the title of the album. By definition, it is about an instinctual gut-wrenching feeling and desire. From addiction to sobriety back to a loss of love to addiction and the cycle continues. Following the stories of people around me and myself. Attempting to escape the self-made prison constructed in our minds. This was one of the older tracks that made a bunch of re-writes, I was never fully satisfied with the message being conveyed. Sometimes you just have to accept we can't always convey what we want in words or lyrics.


Track 10I DON'T MIND

Acceptance would be the keyword that comes to mind, if I were to pick one. Realising that the past does not define you, who you are today or tomorrow, and escaping that self-built prison of the mind. The reason we put this track close to the end is that the album, to me, is a storyline and has a start and an ending, like all walks of life. It ties itself in nicely with what I had written the album to be about, concluding that there was an actual reason for what I and others may go through, and what others may struggle to come to terms with for the majority of their life. It's not about running away from it or distracting yourself from the realist but coming to terms with a harsh truth.


Track 11IN THE END

This was never meant to be the end track. Upon reflection, it concludes the album and story as a whole to finally breaking free from teen angst to some form of adulthood and responsibility. Learning that things will get the better of you if you allow them to. The song was written at the height of the pandemic just like a lot of the other songs were refined during that period in time. It gives reference to it but none of my works are truly related to the history involved at the time.


Royal Bloom – Visceral is available now to purchase online now at