Royal Headache, Sheer Mag, Storm Clouds, Daylight Robbery | Empty Bottle | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Royal Headache

Royal Headache

Douglas Lance Gibson

Royal Headache, Sheer Mag, Storm Clouds, Daylight Robbery Recommended Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Wed., Aug. 19, 9 p.m. 2015
Price: $10
With the Down Under’s scuzz-coated garage rock and sinister postpunk scenes both bursting at the seams with hyped talent, it makes sense to try and find a place somewhere in between the two to stick Sydney’s Royal Headache. But on the new High (What’s Your Rupture?), the foursome use elements of both sub-subgenres—dusty guitar riffs, jogging bass lines, crisp drumming—without ever defining themselves as such. Instead, Royal Headache tour the back alleys of pop music, moving from blown-out, organ-backed soulful garage (“Need You”) to sweeping indie-flavored rock (“High”) to what damn near equates to vintage vocal pop (“Wouldn’t You Know”). Thankfully, the raspy, exasperated vocals of front man Shogun—or at least that’s what he goes by—leave them raw, the way rock music can best be appreciated. And when he does dig into the poppy garage-punk rippers on the album’s back end, it’s hard not to imagine a sweaty, exuberant crowd pogoing along with the bouncy rhythms. Opening up are the great young Philly band Sheer Mag whose recent EP II mixes lick-loaded classic rock with a staunch DIY aesthetic, resulting in a cross between Cheap Trick and a dingy, leaky basement.
— Kevin Warwick
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