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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.4

Royal Headache
Royal Headache

This has nothing to do with the "Sydney Scene". Wherever that is. The Hopetoun closed down decades ago. The Valentinos aren't a band anymore and I don't think a guitar has been played in Candy's Apartment since 1996. It also has nothing to do Pitchfork. Or Gorilla Vs Bear. Or Hippos Vs Hype Machines. Yeah, nothing to do with hype at all. Sure, it's true that many Sydney residents were excited about this album. Maybe we could even go as far as to say it was "highly anticipated". But not because of some cleverly spun digital witchcraft ("like us on Facebook to preview a 12-second sneak peak of the first single"), a handful of gushing sentences on a few significant Blogspots or because the band were the leaders of a revolutionary daring style of music. No, people were excited about this record because they'd been there. Seen the band play, enjoyed it and then counted down the days/months until they could do it all again. Or, better still, take the band home with them so they could have access to their music whenever they felt the need. Simple enough. But in this age of five-second spotlights, immediate gratification and short attention spans, Royal Headache's slow journey to their first full length record has been refreshingly unforced.

But this really has nothing to do with that either.

This has EVERYTHING to do with the music. More precisely, this has EVERYTHING to do with Shogun, the band's frontman. No disrespect intended to the other members of Royal Headache, but without the vocals this is just above-average garage-power-pop. Don't just take our word for it, listen to the two instrumental tracks included on this record and then try and tell us they hit with the same impact as the rest of the album's passionately delivered cold-chisel-into-ya-heart lyrically focused numbers.

But those two instrumental tracks are required. They allow us to collect our thoughts for a few minutes. And if those thoughts aren't something along the lines of "fuck, right now I'm listening to one of the best albums my ears have ever heard" then you're a fucking idiot. Sorry, that was a really stupid thing to say. But, we're embarrassingly passionate about this band. "Didn't know you guys liked Royal Headache?", sarcastically scoffed that scruffy little fella from the radio. Good one mate. And you've got a point as well. It's impossible for us to disconnect our feelings of this record with our previous experience with the band. Sure, that's something that can probably be said for a lot of local acts we heap praise on, but I think it deserves an exceptionally large disclaimer in this case. We're too engrossed in the romanticism associated with Royal Headache to be objective.

Of course, this immediately brings up a whole series of other concerns. Is Honey Joy a fantastic song, or is it just because we (along with every one else in Sydney) have spent years yelling for it at shows? Would lines like "maybe she broke your heart, I know she did" feel as gut-kickingly passionate if we couldn't picture Shogun delivering them, strained, eyes closed, believing every word? Would that celebratory "oohhh yeah" introduction on Surprise sound as good if it wasn't associated with the mental image of a room full of jubilating fist pumps?

So, as silly as this sounds, maybe this is more relief than lust. This record actually exists. There were some dark thoughts at the back of our minds telling us this day may never come. Our grand children would simply have to take our word for it that Royal Headache were as good as we said there were. But this thing actually bloody exists.

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Royal Headache

 

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Comments

melvinsparrow

sooo is it a good record? This is less a review and more a detailed synopsis of your personal journey with this band and the emotions you feel whilst listening to their singer.

7 years ago

bella

"fuck, right now I'm listening to one of the best albums my ears have ever heard"

7 years ago

Jonny Yes Yes

yellow circles,,,

7 years ago

Howling_OX

I for one love passion. I like this review
Also convinced me that i have to go out and buy this on the weekend

7 years ago

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