ARTIST: FUNERAL HOMES
TITLE: LAVENDER HOUSE
LABEL: LONELY GHOST RECORDS
WORDS: JO COSGROVE
Still rising through the last year, Florida rockers Funeral Homes have taken a great step forward with the release of their debut full-length album, ‘Lavender House‘. Following a string of successful singles since they came together in 2018, it’s obvious they’re having fun and enjoying exploring through the many sounds and styles of the alternative scene. Being a band dabbling into emo, pop-punk, rock and hardcore, they’re on this journey of discovery and everyone is coming along for the ride. It’s time to head right into ‘Lavender House‘.
The album opens up with what would be one of the most different songs in the seven-song listing: ‘Cowboy Emoji’. Kicking off the track – and the album – is this echoing duet between the vocals and the strums of a banjo. Matching with the suspected midwest/modern fusion that the title gives, the calming and soft track soon kicks off into a fully fleshed out tune, resembling more what one would expect from an alternative outfit such as Funeral Homes. Don’t take it wrong, however, as this was a soft, sweet, subliminally chilling way to begin the album. It prepares for the unexpected nature that is to come as the songs play on – and “unexpected” truly is the keyword for this work of art.
The two singles released from the album, ‘Important’ and ‘Oil Pastels’ are only snippets of what the band have to offer musically. ‘Oil Pastels’ is the fan-favourite song from the record, and comes across as more chill-out than chilling. Being the penultimate track from the listing, it’s where the listener prepares for the ending. The closing of this chapter and to prepare for the next release. The smooth and relaxing nature can be taken as representation for the feelings expressed within the single: where everything can happen time and time again that there is no longer any shock or extreme reactions; just tiredness and familiarity. It’s a commonly felt sensation around the world, so if there is one song for everyone within ‘Lavender House‘, it’s this one.
“It prepares for the unexpected nature that is to come…”
Going back to saying how this record is “unexpected”, the one standout track to represent this key descriptor is ‘DRK’. Put exactly halfway in the album, it’s where they bring in heavier influences to diversify their take on the alternative sound. The melody is eerie and fearful; a musical path one treads cautiously while looking in every direction around them. It’s a track made to catch everyone off-guard, and it’s a near-successful structure of a hardcore number. The one weak area that can be found would be with the use of vocals in the track. The intervals of guttural growls, spoken-word vocals and satisfying harmonies are well thought-out and the transitions are seamless; however, the vocals themselves need more practice.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to unclean vocals, and this is not discouragement in the slightest. It’s pure encouragement, and hope that as it’s used more and the band create more hardcore-inspired pieces to become accustomed to what makes a successful hardcore piece.
As time passes and the 2020s are just beginning, the decade is waiting right there for Funeral Homes to take it by storm and fill the airwaves with big tunes and more twists and turns!