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The Funeral Suits - Lily Of The Valley (Album Review)

Wednesday, 06 June 2012 Written by Jonny Rimmer
The Funeral Suits - Lily Of The Valley (Album Review)

'Lily of the Valley', the debut by Irish four-piece The Funeral Suits, is an album that can change your mind several times when listening to it, and I don't just mean on one play-through. At points it seems maddeningly close to being a classic, but at other points you have to wind back your thinking and remind yourself that their song writing isn't the finished article yet.

ImageOne thing that is clear is that they have the talent to go far, and associating with the likes of Stephen Street is a good start based on the crisp and thorough production job he's reeled off here. Not that I mean to detract from the band's potential because the first few tracks are wildly impressive, buzzing with ideas. Opening track 'Mary's Revenge' immediately establishes the otherworldly harmonies that become a staple as the album goes on, interlocking them with reverb,
fuzzy bass and an infectious countermelody on the synths. By the rollicking 'Colour of the Fade', you might convince yourself you've found the most exciting new “Indie guitar debut” since 'Silent

Okay, so it is a bit too good to last. There is unfortunate filler embedded within the depths of the Funeral Suits valley. The vocals are partly to blame, with the likes of 'Adventures / Misadventures' wailing out for a new vocal hook (one that doesn't... wail). 'We Only Attack Ourselves' would probably be a highlight vocals notwithstanding, which is a shame because Brian James certainly has his moments to shine.

Don't let my nitpicks fret you though. Unless they are ramping up the reverb for a whole song ('Machines Too'), Funeral Suits are generally several gears ahead of what you'd expect for a debut. There's always a new hook around the corner, and their discernment on when to be measured and when to be frantic is something that is missing in a lot of modern bands.

Looking closer, their album cover seems apt: 'Lily of the Valley' is a binary smorgasbord of colourful ideas and cool textures, often at the same time. Do they have something new to offer to a stagnant genre? Time will tell, but the best tracks on this are miles more exhilarating than anything The Kooks, The Courteeners or any of that lot will be throwing at you this year – I can guarantee that.

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