Desert City Soundtrack 

Funeral Car

Like a menacing mound of dirty laundry piled up in the middle of your bedroom, there's just too much new indie rock to dig through. It's so exhausting. How will you ever find what you're looking for among all the fakes, the sellouts, the crummy remakes, the emo punks? How can you possibly find the one disc that you truly adore like a perfectly worn-in T-shirt?

Never mind -- we found it for you.

Awash in heart-rending piano chords, brooding atmosphere, and tortured soul, Funeral Car screams at you in desperation but simultaneously eases your pain with sedative melodies. That's the foundation of what we reluctantly call "emo": the schizophrenic jerking from shrieking, had-it-up-to-here madness to sweet, lonely sadness. Plenty of bands milk the formula -- some mean it, some don't. Without a doubt, Portland's Desert City Soundtrack mean it.

Funeral Car is dark, stormy, dreary, and turbulent. Produced with textured intimacy, it urges and begs, coos and serenades. "Drawn and Quartered" crashes in with vicious grinding riffs and hardcore shrieks, while "Westpoint" features fluttering piano and shimmering beats. The acoustic ballad "Second Sickness" mourns a love lost: "Let's pick up/Where you left me/Said I promise/Don't hold that/Against me." Whether it howls in anger or cries in remorse, Funeral Car's suffering is entirely, engagingly beautiful. Sweep all that other crap under your bed -- this is all you need.

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