Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Royal Headache - S/T



Provided below is an excerpt from the completely fabricated, incredibly unofficial biography of the band Royal Headache.  While it is utterly ludicrous to believe there will be any similarities between this sensationalistic propaganda and real people or events, we at The Ripple Effect provide our sincere apologies to any affronted parties.  Hopefully the remainder of your time at the hospital passes quickly.  Now, on to our exclusive preview!


Everything came to a head after the band played the main stage of the 2008 Queen’s Jubilee.  Having an unnamed band play on the main stage was scandalous enough, but it was Her Highness’ reaction to their performance that really put the cherry on top of this fiasco.  Here’s a word to the wise for all aspiring musicians.  If you are playing someone’s party, regardless of their social station, and you see them place their hands over their ears while their face betrays physical pain…it might be a good idea to stop playing, or at the very least turn your amplifiers down.

The next morning newspapers around the country plastered similar headlines across their front pages.  ‘Unnamed band gives Queen headache’.  ‘God save the Queen from this nameless band’.  ‘The Queen does not approve: Band proves harmful to her health’.  ‘Her Royal Highness contracts a royal headache after listening to band’.  Sensing a great opportunity, an aspiring music producer named Penfold contacted the band and set up a meeting.  Once in front of the four musicians, he laid out exactly how he was going to help them take over the world with their music.

Step one would be to select a proper name.  Fortuitously, the publicity surrounding the Jubilee had already provided a suitable band moniker; Royal Headache.  It was perfect and memorable.  Step two would be to capitalize on their current notoriety.  Penfold proposed that the band put out a press release as soon as possible.  It would state that the Queen had banished them to Australia, a continent literally on the other side of the world.  When the band members correctly pointed out that this banishment was in fact a bald faced lie, Penfold pressed on explaining that it didn’t matter whether it was true or not.  The point of the exercise was simply to get the band’s new name out there in the public consciousness.  Besides he argued, Australia was lovely this time of year!

Thirty six hours later the band packed their bags and left on a red-eye flight destined for the land down under.  Much to their amazement they were met at the Sydney airport by around forty to fifty members of the press, each of whom was more than eager to interview the ‘buzz worthy’ band.  After providing minimal, direct answers to several reporters’ questions Penfold guided the band into a waiting limousine which promptly sped away.  Although the rock and roll fans living in and around Sydney might not have realized it, they were all about to fall under the spell of Royal Headache.  It was only a matter of time.


Greetings waveriders!  Today I bring you my much belated review of the band Royal Headache.  How belated you ask?  Well, this is an album I have been enjoying since the beginning of summer.  I’m writing this review in December.  My apologies folks.  Of course, after you hear this band’s music you may have a harder time accepting my apology.  Keeping greatness like this to oneself is criminal!  So without further ado, let’s get down to business.

I was frustrated with what I was listening to and needed a change of pace.  Regardless of the level of quality too much of one music genre in the diet is unhealthy.  In my case, it was too much dissonant metal.  I needed something that was still aggressive, but something that was also more melodic and to the point.  That something was classic punk rock, or music very similar.  To find what I wanted I travelled to the Bandcamp homepage and input the keyword ‘punk’ in their search bar.   Incredibly, I only had to sample a few other bands before happening upon Royal Headache.  What can I say?  Sometimes, fortune smiles on me. 

This band is fantastic!  They are exactly what I wanted to hear.  When I hit play on the album stream I was taken back in time.  This music sounds as if it could have been released right alongside all the classic 1970s punk albums.  In fact, the austere production on Royal Headache’s self-titled release might just fool you into thinking that this music was actually recorded around that time…in someone’s garage.  While that might normally be a detriment to the listener’s/my enjoyment, here it perfectly complements the songs as they whiz by at breakneck speeds.  Garage punk.  Brilliant!

I’ve read other reviewers compare this band’s sonic blueprint with The Buzzcocks and I completely agree with them.  However, the first band my mind leapt to in comparison was The Misfits.  No there are no camp or horror elements in the music, but I dare you to listen to the powerful vocals on this album and not hear similarities to the work of one Glenn Danzig.  The singing is infectious, melodious, and electric.  Also, the band just sounds so raw and energetic!   Frantic guitar work easily grabs hold of the listener, but it is the steamrolling rhythm section that really steals the show.   The bass player and drummer are simply stellar in my opinion.

The bottom line here is this waveriders.  If you yearn for a band that spectacularly combines the sound of early 1970s punk rock with that of a garage band look no further.  Your search has come to a successful conclusion.  One listen to songs like “Never Again”, “Girls”, “Psychotic Episode”, or album closer “Pity” will have you jumping out of your seat with joy!  Trust me people.  It happened to me.  It can happen to you.  Royal Headache.  Go!

--Penfold



 Never Again


        Girls



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