Royal Headache rose out of the bleak underground punk scene of Western Sydney, Australia in 2008. In part as a response to the gloomy post-punk bands happening at the time of its founding, the group infused its garage punk core with a hearty dose of '60s-inspired AM radio soul-pop.
Going by foreshortened nicknames, the band consisted of Shogun on vocals, Joe on bass, Shortty on drums, and Law on guitar. The quartet quickly made a name for itself on the strength of a self-produced 7" and began playing locally. In 2011 the band released its self-titled debut LP on R.I.P. Society
in Australia. The record was produced by Mikey Young
, influential godfather of the Aussie punk scene and full-time member of Eddy Current Suppression Ring
. This collection of incredibly catchy, punk-tinged power soul was met with a positive response almost across the board from the underground press, and gained the band much wider recognition. Tours of Europe and the United States followed, and in early 2012 the group's first record was re-released by What's Your Rupture?
in America. Further success followed for the band as critical plaudits piled up and a tour of Australia with the Black Keys
followed. The touring and lifestyle took a toll and in 2013 Shogun left the band. During their time apart Joe played in the band Bed Wetting Bad Boys and Shogun took on guitar duties for the group Low Life. The band reconvened to play some shows, including a tumultuous night at Sydney's Royal Opera House, and began working on its second album. Made up of songs that were begun around the time the first record was released, Royal Headache added some keyboards from friend Gabrielle De Giorgio, and worked to expand their sound. High was released in late August of 2015, again on What's Your Rupture?
~ Fred Thomas