Release Date: Mar 29, 2011
Record label: RCA
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Review Summary: “I know that it’s all been done before, it will all be done again”.Until the end of time, the debate concerning originality in music will rage on. Some will find it too disconcerting that Christina Aguilera’s latest LP sounds suspiciously like Lady Gaga... Who sounds like Madonna, and so on. Meanwhile, others won’t give a toss that Sum 41’s ‘Chuck’ rips off any number of rock bands.
The terms “post-punk” and “dance-rock” are well heeled to the point of cliché. But East L.A. quartet Funeral Party’s debut has all the scream and guitar to get your feet moving…unironically. Chad Elliot bends his elastic voice between teetering wails and delicate melodies, and sharp guitar work keeps the album charging, even with some sneaky jazz progressions thrown in.
"It's all been done before, it'll all be done again," cry Los Angeles quintet Funeral Party, neatly pre-empting Golden Age of Knowhere's unavoidable sense of recent nostalgia. Particularly, their walloped cowbells, post-punk guitars and jerky beats recall the mid-2000s punk-funk boom, with the opener New York City Moves to the Sound of LA a very close relation to the Rapture's House of Jealous Lovers. Deja vu aside, it's certainly hard not to be moved towards the dancefloor by Car Wars's strolling disco basslines, and their sheer intensity makes a exhausted style sound thrilling again.
There is the confrontation of a lyrical middle finger directed at the “scenes” (“NYC Moves…”); a crash-and-bang smirk of celebratory noise and youthful encapsulation (“Carwars”); and a chaotic alarm to shock you from the malaise of a 20-nothing becoming a geriatric at age 30 (“Finale”). This is music to dance, jerk, mellow, and strike up the adolescent chorus to. To east-coasters stretched bottom to top, with a Quick Stop in the middle (forgiving the nausea of Jersey Shore), the likes of sugar high-riding, hip-to-be-mainlined dystopian indie should not fit our landscape.
A modest buzz surrounded Funeral Party during the summer, when they were hailed by some as heirs to The Rapture. The track which whet those appetites – ‘New York City Moves to the Sound of LA’ – sounded like a mission statement. It framed itself as the manifesto for a new generation of Californian indie disco hipsters, who are fed up of having their moves stolen by the NYC garage rockers.
Funeral Party’s debut album begins with a heck of an opening track. “New York City Moves to the Sound of LA” is a dance-inflected post-punk song that features a rumbling bassline, Latin-style agogo bells, high-speed hi-hat cymbals, and a catchy, angular guitar riff. Frontman Chad Elliot shout-sings his way through the verses before getting a bit more melodic in the chorus, saying “Now I know / That it’s all been done before and will all be done again / So pick up the trends”.
The next time you tippy-toe down to your local indie disco, spare a thought for [a]Funeral Party[/a]. They’re probably at home, sat in a huddle, stabbing pins into the faces of tiny effigies of Pe-Do and J-Cas, yelping and “woo hoo”-ing to the gods of Mumbojumboland and desperately praying that a deal can be done with Old Nick to ensure that one tune – any tune – from [b]‘Golden Age Of Nowhere’[/b] will become a dancefloor hit for eternity. Actually, fuck them, they don’t need your pity.