Funeral Party
The Golden Age Of Knowhere


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
March 22nd, 2011 | 96 replies | 13,539 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “I know that it’s all been done before, it will all be done again”.

Until the end of time, the debate concerning originality in music will rage on. Some will find it too disconcerting that Christina Aguilera’s latest LP sounds suspiciously like Lady Gaga... Who sounds like Madonna, and so on. Meanwhile, others won’t give a toss that Sum 41’s ‘Chuck’ rips off any number of rock bands. Those who stray from being hypocritical on the subject are rare... Almost robotic in nature. It all comes down to the individual listener and their musical preferences at a specific point in time. Yet another release which will test one’s thoughts on the issue is ‘The Golden Age of Knowhere’, the debut album from Californian dance-punk quartet Funeral Party.

Expecting the barrage of criticism which will inevitably come, the band (who were named after a song by The Cure) lace the LP’s opener with knowing, critic-baiting lyrics such as “I know that it’s all been done before, it will all be done again” and “Same old shape with the brand new sound”. Wisely, said opener ‘New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A.’ is an absolute belter of a song which any critic would be loath to castigate. Opening with the coolest of all percussive instruments; the cowbell, this energetically raucous cut is a supremely crafted exercise in controlled chaos. With its buzzing guitars and outstanding rhythm section, it excites as much as any debut single in recent memory. Astutely placed as its successor, the funky disco bass grooves of 'Car Wars' displays Funeral Party's secret weapon; the ability to get even rockers up and dancing. And just when you think you have it pegged, none other than The Mars Volta's Omar Rodriguez-Lopez crashes in with a rip-roaring guitar solo.

Strangely, that solo is one of only a few times when the guitar is front & center on 'The Golden Age of Knowhere'. This is by no means a derogatory comment however, since Kimo Kauhola's superlative bass-lines are prominent throughout, while being expertly mixed and produced to drive each track. Undoubtedly the most divisive member of Funeral Party will be Chad Elliott, whose consistently yelping punk-like vocals may eventually grate on some, after initially impressing with his youthfully exuberant energy. In that sense, this album is front-loaded, with a tendency to get a little repetitive towards its end. An acceptable amount of variety is infused into proceedings though, with some subtle synths here and sing-along chants there (3rd single 'Finale' has both). On what is predominantly an up-tempo and high-octane offering, the comparatively slower 'Postcards of Persuasion' & ‘Relics to Ruins' are interesting, despite requiring some fine-tuning. Meanwhile, the one-two punch of 'Giant Song' and 'City in Silhouettes' adds some indie-pop flavor via jangly guitars and layered vocals.

At a similar time last year, Northern Irish Indie-pop trio Two Door Cinema Club released their debut LP 'Tourist History'. A consistent, immediate, enthusiastic, likeable and catchy release, it missed its deserved plaudits due to its dated and derivative nature. Much the same strengths and weaknesses can be applied to Funeral Party's debut, since memories of early noughties post-punk and garage rock will come flooding back. 'Where Did It Go Wrong?' is one of many tracks that will bring to mind The Strokes, 'Car Wars' borrows from The Rapture, manic 2nd single 'Just Because' rollicks along like The Hives, while 'Youth & Poverty' channels The Killers. It's definitely not the most innovative of releases, yet it's so darn fun to listen to, one cannot help but get caught up in its celebratory nature. In a sense, 'The Golden Age of Knowhere' is the perfect party album since it has something for everyone. And while it will most likely work better in a live setting, it still makes for one hell of an excellent record.

Recommended Tracks: New York City Moves to the Sound of L.A., Finale, Giant Song & Car Wars.



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user ratings (41)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Alternate (puntastic) Summary: For those who wished that The Strokes had not changed angles.

Make sure that you listen to this album with good ear/headphones (I’m looking at you crap-pod) as the bass kicks some serious a$$.


Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


This summary is better than the alternate/puntastic summary.

(I still knew it was a Davey review when I saw it on the front page!)

This sounds like something I could very definitely enjoy.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You can presume I swapped it around for you Adam... But I didn't.

It will be interesting if you like this. It all depends on the originality/derivative argument.

BUT I was talking to Ali about it & he did say that one of the albums it most reminded him of was the Little Comets LP. I should add that to the Recs actually.

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


I really don't care about originality unless it's a diluted rip-off. Grabbing this now anyway..

And I meant that I like the current/actual summary far more than the alternate one, so I don't want you to swap it :P

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I knew what you meant about the summary. It seems my bad puns have run their race. :-(

And I don't believe these guys are a diluted rip-off... But there are people that definitely will.



Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


HOLD ON THE vocalist is a guy?

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


so far this is like if yeah yeah yeahs climaxed for the whole song instead of building up tension in the first half and stuff

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, well Chad is usually a guy's name.

Haha. I will admit they could use just a bit more subtlety in their build-ups.

But don't forget... There's a cowbell.

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


i really like it though

just in the first song chad sounds more like charlotte, where charlotte is a feisty punky bitch. he's got (marginally) more masculine now though haha.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



5784 Comments


knott seems to think this is worth more of his attention than william fitzsimmons so ill at least give a few tracks a try, davey

cvlts
March 22nd 2011



8954 Comments


is it weird if i thought this read 'the funeral pyre'?

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


it's really good jared. listen to the 3rd track, rules.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I was gonna throw in a vocal comparison in the review, but thought it best not to. If anyone, I'd probably compare him to the lead singer of The Vines. He definitely doesn't sound much like the lackadaisical mumbling of Julian Casablancas, that's for sure.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

So Jared, you'll listen to it if Adam likes it, but my word isn't good enough!? You're so metal! ;-)

What is it with people misreading what I write lately? First, Wyclef was shot in the "head" & now this.

Ponton
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



5784 Comments


Finale was good, hmm

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


Davey, you might be onto something here... tracks 1, 3 & 5 have so far been awesome - 2 & 4 being good, too.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'll warn you now that the latter half sounds less inspiring at first. You almost have to take it as a separate album in a way. But there are some real growers amongst that 2nd half though.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
March 22nd 2011



15727 Comments


I KNOW ITS ALL BEEN DONE BEFORE I WANNA DO IT AGAIN I WANNA DO IT AGAINNNNNNNN

Digging: Joyce Manor - Never Hungover Again

Knott-
Emeritus
March 22nd 2011



10194 Comments


and it's a feeling i could never sell!

this was good

i will listen again tomorrow!

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 23rd 2011



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sorry Downer, no CTTS on my watch.

While I like the way the album finishes, I actually think the closer may be one of the least effective songs on the album. It sort of tries for that build-up you mentioned before Adam (of the Knott variety), but it only leads to the first 2 minutes of the song being a little too boring.



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