Royal Headache is an Australian rock outfit with a self-titled album made of the stuff that makes guitarists smash their six strings into into splinters–even if they’re playing to a generous estimate of 25 people in a smelly old basement.
ON the track “Girl,” a single guitar chord rings out with unnerving feedback on its tail just as the band gets ready to deliver one of the hardest ins I’ve heard on a rock track of this fidelity. The recording is somewhat lo-fi, but it doesn’t stop the band from reaching through the speakers, grabbing a hold of my brain, and shaking it with all the power they can muster.
The track works at a fast tempo, being driven by a punchy snare drum and an electric guitar that sounds the way chewing on tin foil feels. Uh, I mean that in a good way. I guess I’m looking for a way to describe the rough, metallic timbre of this guitar. If you’re looking for a musical comparison, it definitely hits me in the same manner the guitars did on Iceage’s 2011 album New Brigade. In short, the guitar sounds is boss, but it’s no surprise considering Eddy Current Suppression Ring’s Mikey Young and Straight Arrows’ Owen Penglis had a hand in the recording.
The real show-stopper here, though, is the band’s vocalist, “Shogun.” Yep, that his name, but he’s earned it with singing like this. He’s got a Danzig circa 1982 quality to his voice that I’m loving. Very soulful, gutsy, unrelenting, and enthusiastic. The guy runs in the red throughout this entire track, and it’s a thrill to listen to.
This Royal Headache album dropped last year in Australia, but the people at What’s Your Rupture? will be giving it a US release on the 8th of May.
With this potent blend of post-punk, soul, noise, and pop, I can hardly wait. Here’s the cover art: