“Running a brisk 29 minutes, High is actually a little longer than Royal Headache’s self-titled 2011 debut — and a bit more varied, too. Sprinkled in among the heads-down rockers are touches of acoustic guitar and slower, more subdued stretches. There’s even a near-ballad called “Carolina” that sounds like a garage-punk take on Neil Diamond; Shogun cops to that influence by singing the words “sweet Caroline” near the song’s end. But the band’s innate momentum makes even its calmest moments feel tense. They can’t help but sprint, even when they’re waltzing.

You could chalk up some of that tension to Royal Headache’s recent hiatus, which included a premature declaration from Shogun that the band had broken up. Really, though, the band’s urgent thrust seems woven into its DNA. The aptly named High pushes that trait up a notch, and suggests that Royal Headache’s charged brand of soulful punk has a longer climb ahead of it.” –NPR

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