One of the most unfortunate truisms of the contemporary music scene is that there is nothing new under the sun. Unfortunately, in spite of Funeral Party’s claim that they “are here to restore your faith in rock music”, their debut album mostly plays like an indiscriminate mash-up of the album-selling trends – both good and bad – of the modern indie scene.

Before I start sounding too puritanical, though, Funeral Party’s music is definitely catchy. At their best, Chad Elliot’s gritty vocals, alongside the energetic hooks and drum-beats which characterise the album, are reminiscent of popular bands such as The Strokes and The Kooks.

As the band’s biography asserts, these four rock-lovers originally sprung out of the backyard party scene in Whittier, California, and their album, Golden Age of Knowhere, captures that same breathless, rough-and-ready atmosphere. ‘Youth and Poverty’ and ‘Just Because’ are fun, fast-paced dance tracks, and if you like your passion and angst set against an up-tempo backdrop, then Funeral Party might just be your thing.

The problem with this record, though, is that it smothers too little sincerity with far too much predictability. The band cites influences such as prog-rock legends At The Drive-In and The Mars Volta, but their music falls far short of the experimentation and ambition of these two artists. Funeral Party’s ‘Relics to Ruins’ makes for an enjoyable listen due to its lilting pace and brit-pop melodies, but aside from this refreshing addition to the album, it is very difficult to pick a track that stands out.

In spite of the formulaic nature of most of their songs, Funeral Party are mostly what they say they are: a dance-punk band who create fun – if not memorable – live performances.  “Funeral Party? Quite literally”’ gushes the band’s biography. The band is currently touring Britain, so if you want to see what they mean by that, go along. It could be the sort of gig that leaves you with amnesia and a bad headache, or it could be wildly entertaining and subversive... I’ve heard that parties at funerals can generally go both ways.

Sponsored links