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Funeral Party at Amoeba on Tuesday April 5th, 2011

Ascending bright guitars, screamed soaring vocals over fast running arrangements, Funeral Party build these pop-punk anthems ready to move the crowds to…(k)nowhere. and make people raise their arms in the air like it was their last party.

The band from Whittier, CA was celebrating the release of their anticipated new album ‘Golden Age of Knowhere’ at Amoeba this Tuesday and the young guys actually drew a large crowd. They started with slow and quiet songs, which had a certain Death Cab for Cutie’s vibe, and, as they were progressing in the set, the music became louder and louder, the screaming more and more intense and their music morphed into something else, like a large booming sound filling epic-wannabe chanting shouts.

Effectively, during the first songs the lead guitar played by James Lawrence Torres was very quiet, Tim Madrid was drumming really quietly, a fifth guy was playing a delicate xylophone which was giving out the highest notes of the song, and Kimo Kauhola, the bass player was going unnoticed, sitting on the stage whereas Chad Elliott was mostly carrying the songs with his soft vocals.

Their new album was originally scheduled to be out at the beginning of this year, but was pushed back in the US, because the band was doing so well in the U.K. and Europe that they were focusing their efforts across the Atlantic. In the meantime, they released an EP, ‘Live at the BBC’ with 3 tracks recorded live for British radio, and 3 remixes, including two of their most provocative track with that funny title ‘New York City Moves to the Sound of LA’, a song they did not miss to play.

Chad Elliott, who was removing a layer of clothes each time the music was progressing in volume, announced a new song that he dedicated to the band’s friends and family, and it was at that time that the guitar and bass woke up, and became these fast strummed machines, although the higher tone of his voice was still melancholic and monotonous.
Very soon, he was only wearing a tee-shirt – that was jokingly exhibiting a ‘Brian Jones Lives’ – and had taken a set of cowbells that he was agitating violently, transmitting a tremor to his whole body, attempting to transform the record store into a dancing floor.

They played ‘Finale’, a song figuring on one of their recent singles and concluded their set with’ NYC moves to the sound of LA’, ‘A song that got me into trouble’, said Chad, ‘Because apparently, some New-Yorkers didn’t like it! I got injured, and I had to save my energy’… I am not sure what he exactly meant, was he attacked by some angry humorless New-Yorker? That’s insane, but they were sure that the song would be well received this time.

The four-piece band chose their name after The Cure’s song, and if this means anything, were at number 47 on NME ‘s 50 best new bands of 2010. They have toured with Trail of Dead and Julian Casablancas and have already conquered the UK, so will they do the same with the US? They are trying very hard, may be a little too hard?

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