Featuring Em Foster of Nervus and former Gallows sticksman Lee Barratt, Funeral Shakes are an outfit that despite being well within their infancy bring a fair bit of experience to the table. Coming from two bands with plenty of adoration and respect hanging off their names brings with it a certain level of expectation - so how do the band live up to this?
The album opens with 'Over You', easily one of the best tracks on the album so it's no wonder that it was chosen as one of the band's singles. Despite the high energy, it's relatively lacklustre from a songwriting standpoint. Nothing new, nothing interesting, just samey: and all this is without taking into account the generic music video which accompanies it.
At times it's difficult to pin down what exactly Funeral Shakes are trying to expose as their unique selling point, which can be jarring at points. Nothing in their image, message or approach to the music indicates that much thought has been put into setting themselves apart from everybody else.
The cliche lyrics of “I've got friends in low places...” on 'Gold Teeth' sums up most of the issues on the record in one phrase; it's nothing that you didn't expect or by the same token have heard several times over in different formulas, and for a band with the start up quality of Funeral Shakes you'd certainly be hoping for a little more invention in their tones. This record at times feels as if it would greatly benefit by being condensed into a 5/6 track EP where the band could fit their punchlines around a snappy timescale - instead of a product that seems to drag and rarely move beyond stale.
One redeeming factor of the album comes in the way of courtesy Steve Sears' production job, and you can't help but wonder what might have been had the song-writing and structure on this record not been so stop start. The album is mixed with poise and packs an incredible punch, which is why it leaves you stuck in this weird place between turning it up and turning it off.
In a world where people are becoming increasingly selective about the bands they dedicate their precious listening time to, they want something new and different and not something they could have heard ten years ago on a Kerrang best of 2008 compilation CD. With the market already saturated with average-sounding bands trying to convince you of their unique quality, it would be no surprise if Funeral Shakes get lost in the crowd. Score: 4/10 Facebook:/funeralshakes Twitter: @FuneralShakes