A quick glance over the publicity material and I must profess that my knees hardly buckled under the overwhelming excitement.
The return of an Australian punk band after a four year absence when you didn’t even realise they’d been here in the first place is a decent enough indicator of my ever-ready nonchalance, combined with my whimsy for more leftfield acts of challenging musical testimony, and I felt my editor had really sold me down the river on this one.
It is through my utter humility that I even bother to recount you with my woeful misjudgement. Struck with the fact that the release date was soon-coming I suddenly realised that I’d not even listened to a second of this album, loaded up the player, and found myself in a rather relieved rapture as the opening gambit of ‘Fantasy’ burst forth from my tiny ipad speaker and filled my heart with joy.
The first half of the album hurtles by in a deliriously ramshackle lo-fi brilliance that shimmers with forgotten sweat-drenched glamour, making me feel as if the genially hectic glory days of my 2005 running round Shoreditch after Poptones courted bands and their D.I.Y alumni had never ended. Royal Headache sound as if they care about shining a light upon every venue they are fortunate to play, these songs were written to be sung back to them amidst crowd-surfers and pints spilled in revelry and youthful abandonment. Who needs their hearing or the rest of that overpriced lager when you’ve got a band that you’d follow through every East London basement venue.
At the midway point of the album, Royal Headache slow the place momentarily and nestle four minutes plus of doo-wop garage-blues amidst the sub three minute manic outbursts of perfectly formed melodic punk, it is a breather, it is a hinge to swing back from for the remainder of the short running time, it is an unmitigated strength in their arsenal that they refuse to become hung up on as they round out this release with more of what came before it, pushing my unfounded doubts down to the dirt and leaving me in a worryingly proud state of astonishment as I press repeat and try to put my thoughts in order to prepare my praise of what I consider to be a perfect album.
Support Band: What’s Your Rupture?