Last month, I went to Portland to see And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, a band I love so much that their shows start to blur together in my memory (no, I’m not exactly sure how that works, either). The ones that best stand out tend to be the ones with the most destruction (New York, early 2000s, band members taunting audience members, beer cups flying); most contact with band members (Dante’s, a few years back, trying to keep singer/guitarist Conrad Keely from inadvertently falling on me); or the greatest degree of deafness afterwards (Melbourne, 2002). This particular show was definitely good, but not memorable in any of these categories. It left me wanting to see them again the next night â€” not least because of the second opening band, Funeral Party. We only caught a few FP songs; we wanted more. I ventured into the depths of the iTunes store today to snag their three-song EP, and I still want more.
The members of Funeral Party appear to be very young and possibly more energetic than any humans have any right to be. According to their bio, they “formed late one night in a park.” If you listen to “Carwars,” above, you may find yourself reminded somewhat of the Rapture, though with more cowbell. Live, I kept thinking of At the Drive-In with a serious love for the indie rock disco beat. I’m also reminded of a summer spent obsessed with Q + Not U, and just the tiniest bit of a really aggro Franz Ferdinand. Or a punkier Hot Hot Heat, back in the Make Up the Breakdown era. “Where Did It Go Wrong” on the other hand, begins with singer Chad Elliot drawing out his words Interpolishly.
Of course, the band’s listed influences all pre-date every point of reference I’ve mentioned here, but that’s OK; I’m thinking of all these relatively current bands because for me, Funeral Party pushes all the same buttons these bands do. (And frankly, I don’t spend a ton of time listening to Brian Eno. Sorry.) The band’s bio cites a “post-punk dance-craze revival” in the East L.A. neighborhoods the band hails from, and I must agree: post-punk guitars, yelping vocals and a relentless rhythmic sense that makes me want to dance. In my desk chair, even.
It’s time to make this band the next big thing, folks. Get to it. And don’t forget to listen to the frenzied cheer of “NYC Moves to the Sound of LA” too. That’ll put a smile on your face. There are handclaps and a singalong, for chrissakes. I just wish I was listening to it live, instead of in a small room with an even smaller window. Drat.