Tuesday Tunes--My Top 25 Bands: 24. Funeral Diner

Funeral Diner
SCORES (Out of 25)
-Overall Positive Output: 2
-Overall Enjoyment: 2
-Good v. Bad Output: 12
-Popular Appeal: 2
-Best Album: 6
-Mixtape Factor: 4

Generally when people nowadays talk about how much they love "screamo", I have to cringe a little bit because I know that usually what they're talking about is not actually screamo (or anyway, it's not the original definition of screamo but rather the genre title currently assigned to the legions of bands that combine the screaming and energy of hardcore with the catchy hooks, bad poetry, and whiny singing of many pop punk and indie pop bands). Funeral Diner does not sound like those bands. This is "real" screamo, so to speak. Truly emotionally raw, dark, melodic, sometimes discordant, sometimes sparse, sometimes jangly or even twinkly; always powerful and captivating.

They scored low on Overall Positive Output simply because they didn't produce very many songs in their time as a band. They released two full length LPs (eight songs apiece) and a three song EP and most of their other songs are spread out over various split records or compilations (nine of which were collected on a compilation for a European Tour they did which many consider their best "album" even though it's not technically an album). This also brings them down a bit on Mixtape Factor since almost all their songs can fit on one CD which kinda defeats the purpose of a mix CD (although it would still be one badass disc).

In terms of Overall Enjoyment, although I used to listen to this band CONSTANTLY (back when I was really into screamo), I barely ever listen to them anymore. Thinking about it now, I'm wondering whether I shouldn't have given them an extra point or two for how much past enjoyment I've gotten from them but I doubt it would have helped their score too much anyway. Popular Appeal is obvious--the only less popular band/artist on this list being next week's entry: #23. Deathspell Omega. Being that their best album is a pseudo-greatest-hits album, they didn't get much for Best Album. They did, however, score fairly high on Good v. Bad Output because in spite of not putting out very much, it was all really good.

This is definitely one of those "not for everybody" entries on this list but if you want to know what "real" screamo is all about, these guys are pretty much the best screamo band you can find (at least for my money). The best place to start is the "Is Dead" album (also known as the "Euro Tour CD") which has probably the two best songs they ever wrote: "Yeah, You Remember That" and the beautiful, epic "This Truly Is God's Country." If you're not captivated by the time you hear "as much as it hurts, they were right when they said: 'change is the only constant'" then this band clearly is not for you.


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