BLOOD OF THE RAT$ — the debut album from the apparently Jersey-based group Funeral Fires, which is available now — feels perfectly wild. In a perhaps accessibly familiar and simultaneously richly invigorating, fresh-feeling spin, Funeral Fires found their craft on a bedrock of some superbly blistering hardcore ferocity, which they build on with spiraling flashes of off-kilter rhythms à la classic-feeling screamo and mathcore. Listen to the record below, and nab a pre-order of the record on vinyl from Mourning Records!
BLOOD OF THE RAT$ packs caustic blasts of musical chaos that feel like they’re spinning around in a wind tunnel around a core of the band’s absolutely relentless melodic drive. Although there is definitely a wide range of dynamics that make an appearance on the album, that’s definitely one thread that runs through the record and unites the songs: the band never stops moving. Funeral Fires feel like they have somehow sonically captured some strange combination of a caustic chemical burn and bleeding waves of psychologically unhinged unease, as if the band’s inescapably poignant musical acid burn is revealing some hidden layer of frenzy.
“The 1980 Bulgarian High Dive Team” features blasts of riffing that build into a segment towards the end of the song that slows down into a suffocating musical pit of searing, simmering malaise, like the musical encapsulation of a pot boiling over. The follow-up song, “A Mainline of Total Acceptance,” starts with some moments of musical frenzy before devolving into some rather catchy, super heavy riffing that sounds like a catchy punk song that’s been sped up out of control, somehow without losing the core vibe. A similar vibe re-appears elsewhere — “Sasquatch Iced Tea,” for instance, feels like a song perfect for playing in the background while speeding down some isolated stretch of dirt-swept road. There’s an awesomely catchy core, and it’s also freakin’ crazy.
Listen to the album in full below! Nab pre-orders at this link.
Funeral Fires features drummer Adam Cichocki (Gatherers), bassist Brandon Gallagher (Coarse, Trace Amount), guitarist Matt Popowski (Tidal Gloom, ex-Gatherers), and vocalist Kyle Galloway (ex-Lakota De Kai, Kingmaker).
Galloway has explained the following about the record: “The record itself serves no order, much like my train of thought and unfortunately (at least it feels unfortunate when I break it down) the way I tend to perceive moments, memories and the present. Chaos in the arts is something that has always been my way of breaking things down musically. BLOOD OF THE RAT$ is an LP that reflects more than one memory, experience and will completely go off topic almost in an extreme manner. From drug use via curiosity, to the death of a friend, civil rights, my insecurities, my unnecessary ego, the positive people that have guided me with wisdom or showed me a darker path. I could go on forever but it would all be gibberish to some.
Thankfully that’s the beauty of chaos. Chaos is not for you to understand, grasp or worship. To me chaos is a state of mind and when I grabbed that pen and paper after the boys sent me this beautifully chaotic record, I couldn’t put that pen down. I blacked out, the words just poured out and it all made sense to me because that’s my chaos and no one else’s. BLOOD OF THE RAT$ is a messy chaotic record that has helped me sort some things with my life and I can’t wait to bang out another record.
Rock & Roll, you’re not alone.”