IS A CULT

by THE FUNS

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about

thirdcoastreview.com/2017/08/29/the-funs-is-a-cult-six-new-songs-of-fuzzed-out-shoegaze/

New Douglas, Illinois, doesn’t sound like a place where a lot of noise is made. It sounds like the setting out of a John Hughes film. The town’s population in 2010 was 319. It’s about a 45-minute drive northwest from St. Louis. It’s also the home of Rose Raft, the home, the studio, and the creative space built by Jessee Rose Crane and Philip Jerome Lesicko of the Funs.
The abandoned house which was built in 1872 was Philip’s grandfathers and it took nearly four years of fixing up to make it the hospitable and creative space it is today. After all the work was done building, it was time to get to work musically.

The duo of Crane and Lesicko (who share guitar, drum, and vocal duties) also run Manic Static Records which has been used as a vehicle to release music as the Funs, their solo work, as well as releases by Twin Peaks, Ne-Hi, Lala Lala, and many more. Their new record Is A Cult will be put out by Chicago’s Maximum Pelt.
“Save Yourself” opens the album with a deep breath followed by minimal intro that gradually picks up and continues to build upon itself, the title of the song repeated by Crane like a stoic mantra. The fuzzed out guitars continue in “On The Water” with murky and blurry vocals over another minimal and repetitive drumbeat, the huge sound of each tom and snare hit with deliberate force.
“Come With Me,” a title keeping with the cult theme, starts with just guitar in a ¾ time signature, sounding like some sort of deranged and ominous nursery rhyme. The drums kick in just before the fade out and I feel like I’m left wanting more. “So Real” calms things down a bit with an instrumental interlude before the album picks up again with “Mourning Glory.”

The album closer “Suncoat” begins with shimmering distorted guitars and Lesicko takes over vocals for the first time. The song takes its time, adding layers of guitars and noise and feedback striving for catharsis, until the unexpected transition to an acoustic guitar to end the album.
Throughout the album I’m reminded of Swear Beam, another project of Crane and Lesicko with a release on Maximum Pelt , who hit a similar shoegaze and brooding sound. At less than 25 minutes, Is A Cult is short and anything but sweet: it is noisy, fuzzed out, haunting gloom and doom that sounds best at the darkest times of night. Read an interview with Crane and you see the thought processes that fuel the Funs’ work: atheism, consumerism, tragedy, depression, commercialism, skepticism. But it is precisely because the Funs confront these darker elements in life that provide vitality to their music.

-Andrew Hertzberg
third coast review

credits

released June 1, 2017

SONGS 1-4 RECORDED AND MIXED AT ROSE RAFT BY: THE FUNS
SONGS 5-6 RECORDED AND MIXED AT CANDYLAND BY: MIKE MONTGOMERY

ALL SONGS MASTERED AT BLUE JADE AUDIO BY: BRAD SARNO

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THE FUNS New Douglas, Illinois

JESSEE ROSE
CRANE

PHILIP JEROME LESICKO

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Track Name: ON THE WATER
YOU SAY YOU SAY
YOURE SAFE YOURE SAFE
YOU SAY YOURE SAFE
YEAH BABE
YEAH BABE
YOU SAY
YOU SAY
I CAVE
I CAVE
YOU SAY YOU SAY
I CAVE I CAVE

YOU GAVE ME SOME WATER
I DRANK IT IN
WE TALKED ON THE WATER
IT MAKES OUR SKIN
SEE STARS ON THE WATER
I CAN TOUCH THEM
WERE TREADING WATER
LIKE WARS WE SWIM
Track Name: SUNCOAT
I WILL WANT TO
ALL OF THE DAYS
TAKE ME TO THE
GREENEST IVE SEEN
LIKE IT LEAVE IT
I DONT MEAN IT
STAY AWAY FROM EVERYTHING

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