New music: Royal Headache’s High

Australia’s Royal Headache name checks obscure musical influences: The 1970s pop and rock bands the Nerves and TV Personalties in addition to early-era punks the Jabbers (originally fronted by the infamous GG Allin). Regardless, the band’s second album, the newly released High, unfolds like an indie music history lesson (much like albums being made by Parquet Courts and Iceage).

While High is more of a nod to the past than present, Royal Headache pulls off an original, fun tribute to those bands from decades ago. Fans of groups as varied as Guided By Voices to the Thermals (as well as Parquet Courts and Iceage) are likely to gravitate to this album. I highly recommend it.


By the way, Royal Headache isn’t alone among contemporary musicians acknowledging Allin’s influence. Ty Segall covered Don’t Talk to Me four years ago.

Here’s what the original sounded like:

Royal Headache plays Empty Bottle, releases new album

Fueled by mid-70s power pop, garage and early punk from the late ’70s, Australia’s Royal Headache mixes an excellent blend of sounds on High, a highly recommended album out at the end of this week.

In Chicago, we’re fortunate enough to be able to see these guys Wednesday for a headlining set at the Empty Bottle. This is going to be one of those shows that should not be missed.

Philadelphia-based Sheer Mag and Chicago’s Storm Clouds open.

Your end of summer playlist

summer punks

There is almost a month of summer left. So you need some songs that aren’t too heavy but still have an edge. Here are 10 recommended albums to consider for your late-summer playlist.

Topping the list is a new release from a longtime favorite, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, followed by an impressive sophomore album from Ultimate Painting. Woods fans will want to note the strong solo album from John Andrews.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love

Ultimate Painting – Green Lanes

John Andrews & the Yawns – Bit By the Fang

J Fernandez – Many Levels of Laughter

Thundercat – The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam

Part Time – Virgo’s Maze

EZTV – Calling Out

Cayucas – Dancing at the Blue Lagoon

Peach Kelli Pop – III

Linden – Rest and Be Thankful