Quickly cementing themselves as the working mans band in Tacoma, their great blend of folk and rock seeks to make you dance or perhaps just rock back and forth while sampling some beers and enjoying the tunes. Rootsy folk, bluegrass, a slight bit of funk, rock, and some smart comedy and life-experience-thought make this more than an average band – I have caught their great show a few times now (@ Bob’s Java Jive), and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a night out.
Grandma Cat’s Review:
Serving up the everyman experience from differing perspectives, The Fun Police have at last delivered the locally anticipated, full length CD. Tacoma’s bullies in blue draw on their travel, bar band, and life experiences and observations, to serve up tasty slice of life treats from north and south of the border. The septet’s competence with both solid American roots and spicy world rhythms will have listeners seamlessly rocking between catchy deliveries of both genres.
You Better Run is a solid freshman effort and shows significant growth in both group cohesion and production efforts over their self-titled EP. The experienced musicians continue to grow into their Fun Police personas and dynamic, and Seattle producer Conrad Uno (Mudhoney & The Presidents of the United States of America) guided the disc’s studio sessions in his Egg Studios.
The contradiction between the band name and the band reality stands out in sharp relief, as these officers are clearly out to have a good time and take the listener along with them. Gringo Meringue sets the tone for You Better Run with an infectious, south of the border riff and tongue in cheek observations on bad, Mexican vacation behavior. Don’t even try to sit still during Ranger Ruffhousen’s break neck delivery of this gem; at the very least have a shot of tequila and sit back for an enjoyable ride.
From the meringue, The Fun Police deftly segue to a proficiently crafted, variety pack of roots, blues and cool woven through snapshots of the American experience. Ebay, a story of a collector’s marital discord, is a solid introduction to The Fun Police’s brand of Americana, featuring Special Agent Sam’s accordion and Major Mullet’s violin, unexpected voices in the solid bass, guitar, and drums line up.
If Billy Joel’s Piano Man is the Hope Diamond of bar life, Barfly is its uncut twin; an unpretentious illustration of the current return to roots movement . They invite listeners to the neighborhood bar for a party and make introductions all around with the regulars. In a crowd pleasing and “easy to learn when drunk” chorus , Captain Cox and Ruffhousen explore various get rich schemes in a call and response style in an everyman’s dream, I Wish I was Rich.
Throughout Rather be Dead, Cox leads a growing chorus of remorseful prisoners over a funky chain gang melody driven by Sgt Snake’s distorted bass and Mullet’s mournful and memorable violin counterpoint melody. Brigadier B.Ski’s masterful touch at the drum kit is clearly evident, if unobtrusive by design, and invokes the rhythmic shovel percussion of a work crew.
Promo MP3 of The Fun Police – Rather Be Dead
(Right-click and ‘Save As’)
Night Beat is a cool customer, weaving Cox’s menacing, beat cop threats though a chill flute and bass driven treat. Not to be missed is Sam’s gently understated but shining solo on the backside of the tune. The vignette’s shady ambiance saturates listeners and generates a slight squirm under the intense bad cop scrutiny.
Ruffhousen leads listeners back to the southern latitudes in a delightfully playful, booty-wagging classic reggae protest that distills the growing dissatisfaction in the country with “We don’t want no more what you makin’ us do…We don’t want no more what you puttin’ us thru…” refrain. Deputy D offers up a funky reggae guitar lead and, in the welcoming reggae tradition, the violin and accordion are natural additions.
The Fun Police as an ensemble stand out on Spanish Mullet, in particular. Sounding as though it were written over two quad ventis at Starbucks, it’s a playfully over the top, played hard and fast, corrido of aimless wanderlust. Always a driving engine for the band, B.Ski powers TFP along with a brilliantly punctuated, pounding beat; whipping the ensemble into a driving frenzy.
Completing the disc, Temporary Lapse of Sanity alternates effortlessly between its soulful instrumental beginnings and a yakkity scatting and frenetic strumfest as though it were an introduction to the opening number on the next disc. We can only wait, and hope, and support local music.
By Grandma Cat
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