Comparison can be a dangerous thing; it can also be a helpful yardstick to measure growth. Today, British alt-rock duo Royal Blood who released their gut-punching self-titled debut in 2014, follow up that successful start with sophomore effort How Did We get So Dark? And my, how they’ve grown.

I’ll never forget hearing their music for the first time; with razor-sharp lyrics like “I’ve got a gun for a mouth and a bullet with your name on it,” and wild, raw, dangerous energy that oozed from every riff, I was instantly a superfan. How Did We get So Dark? presents a slightly different feel, displays Royal Blood’s evolution, and successfully avoids the dreaded “sophomore slump.”

Visceral lyrics abound in tracks like “I Only Lie When I Love You”—“I only lie when I love you/I only lie when I make a sound,” snarls frontman Michale Kerr, over his fuzzed-out basslines and drummer Ben Thatcher’s badass drum prowess. For this band, evolution is a fact, not a theory; while the familiar frenzy bares its teeth and talons in songs like “Look Like You Know,” and “Hook, Line & Sinker,” Royal Blood has shifted the fever into a steady stankface-inducing burn. The tracks are groovier, but hit just as hard as ever. Don’t sleep on this one, y’all.

Purchase How Did We Get So Dark? out today via Warner Brothers Records:

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