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Funeral Party – Golden Age of Knowhere

Funeral Party, The Golden Age of Knowhere

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

LISTENING to Funeral Party’s Golden Age of Knowhere, it’s almost as if the mid-2000 post-punk sound never existed, such is their apparent oblivion for retreading that over-worked ground.

But then America has always been keen to look back rather than forward in a lot of its musical tendencies (witness the ongoing passion for all things ‘80s)!
So, it should come as little surprise to find hotly-tipped LA four-piece Funeral Party clinging to their retro values and sticking two fingers up to the critics with knowing lyrics such as: “It’s all been done before, it’ll all be done again.”

The ensuing LP is a rapid collection of songs that are positively belted out of the speakers at you, while encompassing the arty cool of The Strokes in their heyday with the disco-strut of other acts like The Rapture.

Tracks like Just Because and the super-charged album opener New York City Moves To The Sound of LA (with its cheeky East Coast versus West Coast lyricism) are particularly keen examples of how Funeral Party wear their influences on their sleeve, while baiting the critics with cleverly worded sentiments.

But they’re actually far better when they slow things down a notch (and we’re only talking a notch) on tracks like Postcards of Persuasion, which rates as an immediate standout thanks to some greater restraint and a really catchy chorus.

City in Silhouettes opens with a particularly notable electronic pulse, almost suggesting another change of direction into dark disco punk, but it’s a short-lived notion once the guitars kick in, while the disco bass-line vibe is also apparent on Car Wars early on, when comparisons with The Rapture are particularly apparent.

And yet for all the energy and relentless post-punk riff-ery the best moments continue to be the slower ones. Relics To Ruins, for instance, genuinely benefits from a maturity missing from a lot of their songs… opening amid piano chords and then dropping another of the album’s most striking choruses. It’s an epic moment, rife with melody, that really does suggest a brighter future should they decide to concentrate on and hone this sound.

And who knows… maybe they will given that final offering and title track Golden Age of Knowhere at least takes its time to get going… as if in quiet respect to its predecessor. It also feels more held back, too, in its use of manic riffs, opting for a slower-building, almost epic approach that also proves quite appealing.

Hence, for all their breathless early endeavours, it’s the final moments when the album really comes into its own and suggests much potential for the future.

Download picks: Relics To Ruins, Postcards of Persuasion, Just Because, Golden Age of Knowhere

Track listing:

  1. New York City Moves to the Sound of LA
  2. Car Wars
  3. Finale
  4. Where Did It Go Wrong
  5. Just Because
  6. Postcards of Persuasion
  7. Giant Song
  8. Youth & Poverty
  9. Relics to Ruins
  10. Golden Age of Knowhere