2 of 3 thought this review was well written
Released in late 2010, Funeral Mariachi
is the final album from Phoenix, AZ’s Sun City Girls, an experimental rock trio that consisted of bassist Alan Bishop, his brother Richard (guitar) and drummer Charles Gocher. After Gocher’s death in 2007, the remaining members put the finishing touches to Funeral
with the knowledge that it would be the record to bring their thirty year run to a close. Appropriately enough, it’s a final unexpected turn towards relative straightforwardness and accessibility from a band whose esoteric, often self indulgent discography is the product of a career spent defying audience expectations.
Some of the more familiar elements of the Sun City Girls sound are beautifully rendered here, with the band striking a sombre tone throughout as they proceed through a carefully crafted collection of hazy, cinematic Morricone inspired pieces (they also cover his “Come Maddalena”) along with the occasional forays into Middle Eastern folk and Indonesian styles that fans have come to expect. Those listeners who are accustomed to the more theatrical, all over the map eclecticism of other releases must make do with the opening track, as the album gradually slows and becomes increasingly elegiac as it progresses, occasionally to a fault as on the maudlin instrumental “Vine Street Piano" and a couple of other instances where the old SCG flair is missed. Given the circumstances surrounding the recording, the lack of spark is understandable and doesn’t overly detract from the album; Funeral Mariachi
is a classy ending to the Sun City Girls story.