Album Review: Funeral Party – Golden Age Of Nowhere (Jive)

In this age of indie slackers, these LA boys are bucking the trend by trying hard – too hard

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 ‘Golden Age Of Nowhere’ will become a dancefloor hit for eternity.

Actually, fuck them, they don’t need your pity. If you believe everything the hype machine tells you, they’re more likely to be playing some painfully cool backyard party in an LA ghetto while a load of bummed-out punks and gangsters attack each other with screwdrivers and [a]The Mars Volta[/a]’s engineer Lars Stalfors stands at the back fondling himself, hatching some evil plan that involves recording Funeral Party’s debut and making them as big as their obvious heroes, [a]The Strokes[/a]. This is how it happened apparently (though we may have made up the bits about screwdrivers, fondling and evil plans).

The result is a collection of 11 songs so desperate to be loved that it’s difficult at times not to hate this record. Not because it’s shit, because it isn’t. In ‘New York City Moves To The Sound Of LA’ and ‘Just Because’ – all reverb, scuzz and snotty bravado – [a]Funeral Party[/a] prove that when all their disco-punk planets align, they can mix it with any of the bands they gleefully ape (check the Libs, The Rapture etc). The problem lies in songs like ‘Finale’, a cringeworthy re-hashing of ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ as re-imagined by [a]Stereophonics[/a]. Hell, lead singer Chad Elliot even sounds like Kelly Jones as he screeches, “I always knew we would end up just like his/So pour me one last drink with a final kiss”. It really is as bad as it sounds.

So, to reiterate: not shit, just really fucking annoying. Annoying for its try-hard, ‘please play us at the disco’ stylings. Annoying for its po-faced seriousness. But more than anything, annoying for the fact that in its moments of brilliance, it’s the catchiest, danciest jangly guitar pop you’ll hear this side of the summer. Sadly, those moments are few and far between.

Mike Williams

Click here to get your copy of Funeral Party’s ‘Golden Age Of Nowhere’ from Amazon.

6 out of 10