Funeral Party – The Golden Age of Knowhere

Release Date: March 29th, 2011

Reviewed by Evelyn Miska Krieger

Funeral Party’s debut album, The Golden Age of Knowhere, is somewhat surprising, especially if listeners don’t quite know what to expect. Admittedly falling into that category, this listener was pleasantly surprised by the band’s sound and energy. The album moves quickly and doesn’t get bogged down along the way, keeping listeners interested and engaged. Admittedly, the band does sound like a mix of Franz Ferdinand, The Strokes and a dash of The Cure (and not just referring to the band’s name), but in this case, that definitely isn’t a bad thing.

“New York City Moves to the Sound of LA” begins the album with swift kick in the pants. The energy is high and the sound balances raw and carefully produced in just the right manner. Vocalist Chad Elliot wails his way through the song with a lot of attitude and the guitar and drum tracks help propel him along. Everything comes together to make a great opening track. “Car Wars” ventures more into the realm of dance-pop but maintains enough of an edge so as not to be a re-write of those dance-pop tunes we’ve all heard a million times. The track also has a much darker tone to it which helps keep the song interesting but it still remains accessible.

“Finale” is one of the best, most-catchy tracks on the album with it’s upbeat sound and fast tempo. The song is a great example of what Funeral Party excels at. The mix of punk-inspired vocals a little bit of 1980s dance and a modern sensibility come together to make a fantastic song that inspires listeners to get up and dance. “Just Because” works well for many of the same reasons and while it isn’t quite as striking as “Finale” it is another excellent selection from The Golden Age of Knowhere.

“Relics to Ruins” is the slowest song in the collection and the band’s only attempt at a ballad. While there isn’t really anything wrong with it, it pales in comparison to the other songs and lacks that high-voltage energy present throughout the rest of the album. Writing and performing a good slow song is tricky and, at least based on this attempt, isn’t Funeral Party’s strong suit.

Overall, Golden Age of Knowhere is a startling album, mostly because it seems increasingly rare that a band can come along, record a debut album and have so many good songs on it. Funeral Party has found a sound that works perfectly for them and mixes old and new in the right quantities to create something fun to listen to and makes one curious to see what they’ll come up with next.

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