Funeral Ruled By None

Momma, don’t let your critics grow up to be rock stars, the backlash may crush them. It’s true, once the critic turns creator, everyone they have ever talked smack about wants a piece, and let’s face it, we talk a lot of smack. This Syracuse-bred group of ex-members of Darker Day Tomorrow and Spark Lights the Friction, with Hanging Like a Hex/Hex Records impresario Ryan Canavan controlling the mic, rock it like it’s the mid-’90s HC revival all over again. Eschewing the trends of the moment (tech, screamo, old-school revival, etc.), the Funeral cite Left For Dead and His Hero Is Gone as musical aspirations but sound their Syracuse pedigree and really, really ply their brand of metallic hardcore for all its worth on their 12-song debut full-length. Dripping with conviction, but not musical innovation, which is surprising, considering the acts Hex records has unleashed (the Minor Times, the National Acrobat, Ed Gein, etc.), the Funeral deliver a pure mid-’90s style of straightforward metal-derived hardcore, which varies from chugging and plodding to more upbeat, with lots of double-kick fills, and even pick-slide transitions into their more up-tempo HC forays. It’s not terribly new or original, but it is competent, has mucho back-ups, a sample from The Big Lebowski (sweet!) and you can’t front on their sincerity, but including hints of their previous bands might not be a bad idea if they want to last for more than a record or two. (Endwell)