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Royal Headache's Debut Spares the Pain

Published: Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Updated: Thursday, May 10, 2012 17:05

Royal Headache

Royal Headache
(What’s Your Rapture?)
Grade: B-

So this is what Sydney has to offer? Well, it looks like Royal Headache is a pretty good time. It’s not their Australian charm and quirky names (Shogun, Shorty, Law and Joe). It’s that new band sound, y’know? Only new bands with debut albums can produce such a sense of urgency in their music – one that fills you with a twinge of anxiety but mostly makes you want to dance.

It’s no surprise the band has a background in punk. Their songs are fast, fearless and concise. The album does a good job of transporting you to a seedy venue or a crazy backyard house show. Royal Headache exudes refreshing and youthful energy. Sure, the vocals could use some work. But, hey, it adds to their appeal.

Stand out tracks are “Girls,” which is a whirlwind of sound that leaves you a bit disoriented, and “Distant and Vague,” which is reminiscent of a Motown jam. The entire album has a bit of a Motown/R&B feel to it, and it’s produced to feel as if it’s been sitting on a radio DJ’s shelf for decades.

I’d believe it of course if there wasn’t such a heavy punk undertone. Then again, punk seems to be the most flexible music genre there is. It goes with just about anything.

Royal Headache will open for The Black Keys in Australia, which should make for an interesting night. Shogun’s soulful singing style falls in line perfectly with the American band from Akron, Ohio. 

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