Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Album Review :: Royal Headache - High
August 28 2015 (What's Your Rupture?)
Words: Alison Mack
Sydney punk-pop quartet Royal Headache have been fierce in earning a reputation, not just by their energy-fuelled live shows but also by their 2011 self-titled debut album filled with catchy and raucous fuzz that gave a springboard to frontman Shogun's voice to go full all-out on his range of emotion and pitch register.
Four years on, with water under the bridge (not least the threats to break up the band by Shogun) 'High's ten tracks show a progression, having tightened up their production and judging by what is here, without dissipating any the raw passion that governs their work.
From opener 'My Own Fantasy' which allows vocalist Shogun to expend full pelt in claiming, "I used to live in a world of rock'n'roll and tons of girls!" over a bed of scorching riffs, through 'Need You' where guitars tumble and vocals shine like they've been glossed up with Mr Sheen, to the emotive 'Carolina' with its acoustic underpinnings and stirring hooks, we see a band exploring and diversifying.
There's still plenty of Royal Headache adrenaline left as they plow through their punk side on the album's title track and 'Electric Shock'. The four-minute 'Garbage' keeps the sharp edges present, while the 'Wouldn't You Know' ballad is one track that steps back from the fuzz to bring in a more soulful, blues feel.
'High' is passion-filled record of visceral scuzzy garage rock of (mainly) two-minute bursts of high octane energy, and one that will take a lot to beat.