Funeral is a hardcore band from Portland featuring members of Atrocious Madness and Tragedy. During their time they released this 7", a 12" ep and featured on the "Tampere vs. Portland" compilation. Even though Funeral was only a side project and released only a couple of records it is a widely recognized band.

Moving on to the record itself. Right off the bat I'm going to have to tell you that if you're looking for something new and innovative this ep is probably not for you. It's quite simply just hardcore music for hardcore people. Yet even though there's nothing here that hasn't already been done before this record is not like "just another punk seven inch". The band has achieved a very distinct sound which I believe derives from this record possibly being recorded live in the studio.

There are 6 songs on this record. Some of them fast, some of them faster, none of them slow. The songs remind me of some scandinavian hardcore bands and especially Discharge. The Discharge influence can also be found in the lyrics, with some of the lines and vocal arrangements being almost suspiciously similar to those of Discharge. The lyrics are about religion and the contemporary state of state power.

The production is gritty and minimal. The guitar sound is thin with medium distortion while the bass is smutty and noisy. The drums are loud and very clearly audible. The snotty and angry vocals really fit in to the sound of the band. Bear in mind that even if this record has poor production value it's not noise punk: It's more gritty than it is noisy. Furthermore, the production seems to be irrelevant. The important thing is the music itself. It's not trying to be noisy, it just is the way it is: Four punks playing raw hardcore. This makes the record sound very authentic, the way all good punk should sound.

The cover art is typical for the Portland hardcore band. You have your skulls and your soldiers in a black and white setting. There's no inlays since none are needed. Lyrics and all necessary information are printed on the back cover in that typewriter font all punks know and love.

As I said before this record is not taking punk into strange new places or redefining its sound. It's rather upholding the core values of the political hardcore scene. Making them stronger. It's not killer but there's no filler either. If you're already into raw hardcore then you'll probably like Funeral. If not, then this is probably not a good place for you to start.

7 / 10