Release DetailsLABEL Caroline Records
RELEASED ON 2/20/2007
Funeral For Yesterday
Remember when “Brackish” took MTV by the balls? Considering the musical disaster that experience was I’m still not quite exactly sure why I’m reviewing the same band I used to scoff at others listening to without a shred of empathy or understanding on my part. This is another one of those assignments I took upon myself for the pure hell of it, nothing more than trying myself at a release any other day I probably would have kept at arms length.
I expected to find myself belayed against a horrific aural shitstorm of absolutely prodigious proportions, but much to my surprise, I found nothing of the sort. Perhaps my limited involvement and knowledge of the band is to explain my ignorance of their evolution, but with Funeral For Yesterday they’ve returned with an infinitely more palatable and mature offering than anything else I’ve heard from these Canadians. When I say palatable, I’m not using a euphemism. “Funeral For Yesterday”, “Everything that Could Have Been”, “Will to Live”, and nearly every other song on a Funeral For Yesterday progress with a nearly ballad like delivery of listener friendly clean vocals, constant barrages of catchy two step laden choruses, and easily digestible hooks that are without a doubt the current trademark of Kittie’s sound. Is it effective? Yes actually--you may feel guilty later when you catchy yourself tapping your foot to one of their tunes, but a good majority of the album succeeds beautifully at that sort of thing. As far as faults go, most of my gripes and critiques are not as much how well they do what they do, but purely aesthetic critiques in finding a moderate personal distaste for the genre they've latched themselves to. For what it is, this is about as good as it gets.
Maybe it’s the nature of the style, or perhaps the choice to pen fourteen songs, but eventually Funeral For Yesterday loses its initial sense of novelty and quickly starts to become a parody of itself. It’s not really due to a decrease in quality of songwriting, it’s just the easily digestible and, honestly, somewhat formulaic nature of their musicianship leaves very little for the imagination to struggle with. While there is an element of change between cuts like the more aggressive “Flower of Flesh and Blood”, “Witch Hunt”, and “This Too Shall Pass” to the poppier jaunt of “Summer Dies”, and “Around your Heart”, I can’t help feeling that the limited contrast brought out by dynamic tension and such is a bit cursory and superficial, ultimately lacking the level of substance to really erect a sense of accomplishment after a song finishes. While I hesitate to use the word generic here, a bit more attention to diversity and variety would have helped this album immensely. There’s never really a sense of completion as each track comfortably shifts into the next without a decisive sense of accomplishment or resolution.
I’ve tried to take into account that this is about as different as you can get from what I usually review, and try to accommodate accordingly by being as lenient as possible. It would seem slightly absurd of me to judge an album with the same expectations and criterion I’m about to apply on my reviews of Antaeus, Katharsis, and Horna. Let’s be honest, this album completely oozes commerciality, but if you’re not too caught up with ensuring your music collection is a testament to how brutal an individual you are, there’s actually some catchy material to be had here, albeit Funeral For Yesterday does probably contain some of the most bubblegum influenced ‘metal’ I’ve come across, but that’s really neither here nor there. You have to approach this sort of thing for what it is and make judgments about it’s worth and merit after experiencing it.