Facts About Funerals - Love Songs & Funeral Homes
Facts About Funerals are a band with a history: members have performed in acts such as New West Motel (which contained the majority of Facts About Funerals including singer/songwriter Rob Sharp), Swell, Sera Cahoone, Smile Brigade and The Kissers. According to their press release, New West Motel met it's end as tragedy befell Rob, losing his sister and parents within the same 2 month period. Through some perseverance and inspiration came Facts About Funerals.
What they play is almost equally tragic and melancholy as it must have been for Rob to lose so much so fast. Most of the songs on Love Songs & Funeral Homes (a Daniel Johnston quote) are mellow and light, airy rockers, all of which carry a certain gloom and measure of dismay. Some songs (Black Whiskey and Cartwheels) are more upbeat and joyous, but the nature of this album is definitely moody. Rob's vocals are quite strong, as he portrays lyrics of confusing loss and bitter regret with the utmost sincerity and devotion. His songs are all fairly big and the style is blended with some of the very popular alt-country that is pervasive in "indie" music nowadays. Tracks to hear include the aforementioned Black Whiskey and also "Dumb", "Sunrise" and the ultra-depressing closer "The Wedding Song" (which sounds lifted from the songbook of A Silver Mt. Zion if you ask me...)
All said, Facts About Funerals are far from unique and it's their honesty and strong songwriting that pushes them over the pile of so-sos. The band as a whole is competant but it would have been somewhat more interesting for me if there was more varietry in the guitars; all the twang and mellow strumming fits but pushing things further would have benefited this record. Love Songs & Funeral Homes is the kind of record a rock fan would reach for when they're having a bad day and see no signs of it letting up, wanting to wash themselves in someone else's suffering to ease their own. That's one of the often confused but wonderful aspects of music of this type, it's ability to replace whatever ails you with the ailments and struggles of somebody else, and that in itself is a fine recommendation if you ask me.
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