Album Review: The Golden Age of Nowhere – Funeral Party

Posted: February 6, 2011 in Album Reviews, music
Tags: , , , ,

“Now I know/that it’s all been done before/it’ll all be done again”. Ain’t that the truth.

The Golden Age of Nowhere - Funeral Party

For the last few weeks, the people who put the money into advertising the Funeral Party have been telling me their band is one of the most exciting I’ll hear all year. Sorry folks, they’re not even the most exciting band I’ve heard all week compared to, say, Chapel Club or Esben and the Witch. However, I can see how the lad’s first album “The Golden Age of Nowhere” might be flavor of the month.

Funeral Party plays Indie pop rock similar to other bands such as the Strokes, the Killers, and Passion Pit, etc., etc. The band sounds young and energetic. The album is laden with hooks, there’s enough variety to sustain the album, and almost every song is a driving force. Even the one relatively slow song, which is buried in the penultimate spot in the track listing, seems to want to kick it up a couple of gears on occasion. The hyperdrive effect is aided by in-your-face production. Despite them being a four piece band, there are times when the compression puts them in danger of sounding like the audio equivalent of the stateroom scene on “A Night at the Opera”.

There’s also enough familiarity to attract people who like what they know, which is my biggest problem with the album; It’s a little too derivative in spots without having enough of an overall individual personality. However, there are some interesting things going on in the song introductions and slotted in here and there that hint at more creativity than we’re getting in these mostly eight-to–the-bar standard song structures.

James Torres’ guitar gives off some nice tones and good riffs, even though none quite reach classic status. Kimo Kauhola and Tim Madrid keep things driving along on bass and drums respectively. For the most part, the lyrics are too generic to be meaningful, but they are stated by singer and keyboardist Chad Elliott with great force and conviction, so one assumes the words mean something to him.

The main sense I get from this album is that it was honed in a live environment, and I can imagine that the material works best with an audience. Two songs (“New York Moves to the Sound of L.A.” and Finale” ) even include scripted crowd chants. There is definitely craftsmanship going on here by a band that has every intention of being around for a while.

OK, so not a bad first effort for these kids, though I can’t see myself coming back to this one too often – there’s not enough individuality and substance for my taste. But lurking in the corners is a promise that the band might get more interesting with subsequent releases.

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