Resisting the urge to raise my hands in rapturous praise is difficult at present as the date of release for Royal Headache’s second LP draws closer. August 21 (which happens to be my birthday) is the ETA for High, slated to be released through What’s Your Rupture and Rough Trade. Currently, two tracks have been ushered forth; the title track and this new joint ‘ Another World’. In typical Royal Headache fashion it stirs up a frenzy within, yet ends leaving us wanting more. The band never ran any of their hooks into the ground, preferring rather to get their point across succinctly and move on to the next.
I held back from writing about ‘High’ when it was plonked onto the web a little while back because I didn’t think it was the strongest Royal Headache track they’ve written, but it was a nice taste of the rollicking, restrained nature of the bands sound for this record. It grew on me though and is overall a charming track, but ‘Another World’ is a bit more of a turbulent offering. It kicks hard to start with prototypical garage-punk instrumentation and keeps the pace for the 2:23 duration. Shogun has dialled back on his recognisable soul-croon and saves his vocal chords for ushering economical pointed jabs at an unidentified subject.
It seems as if Shogun is talking about his self-removal from aspects of society that exist and the criticism and jealousy levelled at him for his status. I’m probably wrong here, but it seems as if Shogun is distancing himself from certain elements that think his side of the grass is greener, or that his world is a frenzy of euphoria and endless joy (he’d probably be the first to admit that it’s not). Phrases referring to ‘taking his place’ to ‘join in another world’ give me this impression, but it’s just what I gathered from my listening.
Regardless, High is a record that reportedly wasn’t going to see light of day, or rather the band was over and this album was merely unfinished business. I haven’t heard much to assure me that this still isn’t the case, but whether or not Royal Headache wraps up for good after this album and their US tour, they’ve left a lasting legacy that wont be easily forgotten. This album will rip shit and I’m waiting with baited breath.