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Funeral Shakes - 'Funeral Shakes' Album Review


1. Over You

2. The Motions

3. Lightning

4. Lovebirds

5. Circles

6. Gold Teeth

7. Gin Palace

8. Howl

9. Bon Voyage

10. Soap

11. Safari

12. You're So Bad

Do you like your Rock hard and devoid of a happy ending and expressions of true and undying love? Do you like these other acts that coincidentally also have names beginning with the letter F, I’m talking Foo Fighters, Fall Out Boy and Frank Carter? You do? Well in that case you will love Funeral Shakes.

The band come from Watford, not a hot bed of great Rock ‘n’ Roll, although in recent years the Hertfordshire town has given us Gallows and The Hunna. Interestingly Funeral Shakes drummer is Lee Barratt from Gallows. The rest of the band is made up of founding members Calvin Roffey on bass and vocals and guitarist Simon Barker. They are aided and abetted by guitarist and vocalist Em Foster from Nervus. Simon Barker said “When would you ever want to hear a song about people who’ve lived happily ever after? Never! You want to listen to the negative stuff, all wrapped up in a happy tune” and that is exactly what Funeral Shakes deliver in spades.

Album opener “Over You” reminded me of Glassjaw’s Daryl Palumbo’s side project Head Automatica mostly because it is a solid gold example of power Pop perfection. The album is oozing with incredible hooks and choruses that I am sure will be sung at festivals incessantly in the coming years, particularly “Circles” and “Gold Teeth”. Some power Pop, Punk style bands often fail in the vocal harmony department, but that is a place where Funeral Shakes excel. The band are very tight and in a live setting I reckon they would shred you alive if you got too close to the speakers, but what a way to go for a Rock fan?

This band do not wear genre blinkers either. “Gin Palace” has a 50's pastiche feel about it reminiscent of Frank Zappa’s ‘Reuben And The Jets’. You can find the videos that accompany “Lightning” and “Over You” online, so in modern music industry parlance I guess that makes them the album’s first two singles. I would love “Howl” to be a single, in a parallel universe where the charts still matter it would be a definite top ten contender. Closing song “You’re So Bad” will undoubtedly have phones and lighters swaying in the crowds at gigs.

The LP has twelve tracks and not a single one of them is filler. Probably too early for an album of the year tip, but definitely an album of the month. Funeral Shakes self-titled album is released on February 16th on Silent Cult Records. It was recorded at Titan Studios, and produced by Steve Sears.

Buy it, stream it, download it, just don’t let it pass you by!

Review - Bill Adamson

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