Following a period of rest and reflection, and a recent performance at Sydney’s Opera House, Royal Headache is ready to ride once more. Their new album is called High and injects even more soul and passion into the breakneck formula that became synonymous with Royal Headache. If their first album was akin to a courtship, think of High as the romance. Not just on the level of two people falling in love, but a romance with the qualities of pop music that make Royal Headache who they are and inform what they do: eternal optimism, wistful beauty and interlocking presentation that evolves from four guys singing on a street corner to speed-addled rock, and all the brightness and darkness in between, teetering between stability and chaos and well-aware of how unsteady their footing might be. The amount of emotion and range of Shogun’s vocals and the whip-smart counterpoint provided by the band -- drummer Shortty, guitarist Law, and bassist Joe -- present a dash through decades of pop history, recombining not just the music but all of the feelings of pain and joy elicited from audiences, supercharged and ready to explode once more. Shogun’s voice and lyrics aren’t so much a secret weapon in Royal Headache’s arsenal as they are the front line, happiness and hurt soaring above the songs, driving home all the feelings within.
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