Funeral Chic – Superstition

Rating: 3/5
Distributor/label: Prosthetic Records
Released: 2018
Buy Album: https://store.prostheticrecords.com/item/64671
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/funeralchicnc/

BAND LINE-UP:

Alex Psaroudis – Drums,
John Andrew Hawkins – Guitar,
Robert Gray – Guitar,
Dustin Carpenter – Vocals.

TRACKLISTING:

1. Rotten To The Core
2. Reaper Superstition
3. Left Alone
4. Jump
5. Baptized
6. Deep Pockets
7. Off The Rails
8. Decorated
9. Stay Useless
10. Suffer Together Forever
11. Red Laces
12. Say No
13. D.R.E.A.M.
14. Fantasy

REVIEW

Who likes their metal a little blackened, crusty and rather more hardcore-y? Anyone? Well, have we the band for you. Up next in our monthly tear-down is FUNERAL CHIC, a band described as “explosive” and “dangerous”, so one wonders why the UK’s respective secret services aren’t keeping tabs on these chaps. Nevertheless, they roam free to terrorise our eardrums and blow our brains with pummelling music… As this opener is becoming more torturous by the sentence, let’s bomb on…

What’s immediately noticeable is that FUNERAL CHIC mean business. Defined as an “extreme” band, theirs is the aforementioned little black, little crusty and little hardcore-y aural concoction that ultimately makes for a very balls-to-the-wall experience. Right from the get-go with “Rotten To The Core”, the band sets off at an unrelenting pace, with grinding riffs and ballistic drumming providing the (rotten) core of the sound. Throughout “Superstition”, there will be plenty of opportunities for those neck muscles to get a workout with some thoroughly vicious headbanging, make no mistake of that. Tracks like “Off The Rails” and the life-affirming “Stay Useless” rip a new one consistently, whilst the curveball inclusions of solos makes for an even more warped listen.

The pacing of the album isn’t all speed, though. There are pleasant moments where groove comes to the fore, providing ample opportunity to pull some shapes and wreck the place. “Say No” is the standout here, with its halftime beginnings that are sure to get the mosh monsters monstering it up. It’s arguably the most hardcore choon on the album, especially with its use of gang vocals, pulverising riffage and slowed reprise, so it’s well worth the punishment to your ears and limbs.

The problem that a band such as FUNERAL CHIC will have when combining several genres into their sound, such as they do, is making it coherent. Fortunately black metal, crust and hardcore are bosom bedfellows (though you might want to watch out for the spikes and corpse paint when snuggling up), so “Superstition” doesn’t come off as an uncomfortable mess. The band have struck a balance between all three and it shows when the more black metal-esque moments merge seamlessly with something a little more crusty. Where the album can falter slightly is that, as a whole, the extremity of it can just become a blur.

Yes, there are groove-laden moments, and little soundbites that break everything up, but they’re immediately knocked out by something tremendously violent (something of a motto for the band, apparently). It’s a strange thing, being an extreme band. It’s what is expected of you, but brevity can be a huge help towards appreciation. There’s only so long that extreme can be extreme; after a while, it simply becomes the norm. The folk who live in places that are blisteringly cold could testify to that! Thus, “Superstition” can become a little blunted by its own ferocious attack, with a number of tracks whizzing past without ceremony and nary a brain cell in the memory banks bothered.

Despite that, FUNERAL CHIC can pat themselves on the back for a job well done. “Superstition” hits hard and hits fast, but is more than willing to groove with the best of them. As a result, there are some wonderfully entertaining moments for fans of all their amalgamated genres to enjoy. It’s not perfect, but the viciousness is one helluva sound to behold. Worth a walk under a ladder for.

REVIEW BY LEE CARTER
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