Hailing from Sydney, Australia, Royal Headache are one more band doing their damnedest to make down under’s music scene so excruciatingly awesome. Last year, they put out a single on Australia’s stellar R.I.P. Society Records, featuring a song called “Eloise.” Shit is classic. That whole 4-song single absolutely rocks. Now, though, their debut full-length is finally here (also via R.I.P. Society) and it only expands on the gorgeousness that “Eloise” and co. hinted at. Royal Headache is so good.
Royal Headache the band essentially plays hyper-melodic punk music, but it’s also got this hard to pin down 1960s British R&B soulful jangle running through all of it. Throughout the album, the singer (who might be named Shortty) sort of sounds like Paul McCartney singing the “Twist and Shout”…or “Live and Let Die”…but softer…but at the same time mpunk…and more modern. The guitars sound raw (they are), but are also rich, soft, and catchy. Startlingly melodic,. The short songs (the longest song here is 2 minutes and 42 seconds) swirl around in little bursts of pretty pop punk chords and warm blown-out drums. And then the vocals inside of everything. It’s mesmerizing.
There is not a bad song on the album, obviously, but a few transcend goodness, becoming the sort of day-changing and eventually life-changing pieces of music that I live for. “Really In Love”, the second track, clocking in at 1:42 is one of the best songs I’ve heard all year. The guitar and drums speed into a shaky little crescendo before our man comes in, singing in a frantically muffled way; all soul. “Girls” (previously available in the “Eloise” single) operates in a similar way: it’s all speedy and catchy and again exhibiting some serious garage soul vibes.
I can’t stop listening to any of this. Band burns, this record burns.