Old-school punk fused with Motown-era soul is an amazing combination; it makes me wonder why more bands don’t go that route. Both styles have a genuine aesthetic for pouring out your ills through a mic aided by bass, guitars and drums — you think they would be symbiotic. One band that does it in impeccable fashion is Royal Headache out of Sydney, Australia, and they’ve had me hooked since their self-titled debut that came out in January 2011. Their follow up, High, is due out on August 21 and it’s my top candidate for the best album of 2015. Why such acclaim you ask? Read what I gotta say and then give it a listen when it’s released.
I might be biased since I’ve been listening to this band along with a few others on a near constant basis for a couple years now, but hey it’s my weekly album review. High shows no sophomore slump from this soul-punk quartet from down under; frontman Shogun lets out pristine rage with his honest heartfelt lyrics while drummer Shortty, bassist Joe and guitarist Law bring a gargantuan level of intensity with scorching riffs and bombastic beats. If you ever needed an album that’s going to make you dance while falling in love with the music, the pure rock ‘n’ roll from High will just be what you’re looking for.
While other acts who are more famous act like a bunch of prima donnas and continuously let their fans down with sub-par releases following heavy marketing campaigns, Royal Headache doesn’t need that crap. All you gotta do is press play once and I guarantee you’ll immediately become a fan. To further support my claims, check out my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week:
While I’ve already said High is the best album I’ve heard so far this year, “Garbage” is also the #1 song of 2015. The fuzzy bass from Joe and igniting of Law’s guitar provide the perfect sound to Shogun going off on being used and abused in a very angry and furious manner. If you’re pissed off at someone, then here’s your anthem. A ballad of some sorts, “Carolina” is reminiscent of what could have been included in an ’80s John Hughes’ film. An ode to the outcast, it’s all about hoping the girl from the rough side of town still has a heart to care. The perfect dose to add to your dance party playlist, “Little Star” has a lot of rhythm while Shogun sings out to the alienated one that he loves.
Royal Headache are currently in the middle of touring the States, and they’ll be making their presence felt in New England at Great Scott in Allston, Massachusetts, on August 24 with Sheer Mag and The Channels. If you like to have a crazy fun time and see some kickass music, I highly suggest you go. Obviously you should grab a copy of High while you’re at the show, because it’s going to blow your mind. Do yourself a favor and dive in to the brilliance that is Royal Headache; you most definitely won’t regret it.
Stream the title track here: http://royalheadache.bandcamp.com/track/high
Royal Headache’s Website: http://www.royalheadache.com.au