The Hole In The Head Gang’s Forbidden Planet sfx intros led in to a Sabre Dance, Telstar, Cossack tango of Agit-Pop frenzy with the singer, in a moody monk hoody, positing the existential diss-functional Department S question – ‘Is Vic There?’. Answer was there none. Having tossed in Balkan fairground freak-show histrionics and near incomprehensible lyrics theirs is an agitated Ghoul-thrash for the Twilight generation afraid of a lark. Nevertheless, their dearth-noir introspection is sufficient enough to make closet Emos reconsider the fragile credibility of their tedious internal dialogues and stupid fringes. ‘We are little more than a cacophony of sound in the ongoing struggle of infinite nothingness,’. One can only respect their lucid honesty.


The Funeral Suits’ promo blurb citing their ‘hedonistic adolescence and burning passion to escape Dublin‘, only to play at the Hare before twenty or so punters, is a caustic reminder of rock and roll’s perfidity.


Again, there’s more sci-fi synth intros and the drummer’s wearing headphones – is that something to be worried about? His kick-drum angst recalled The Secret Machines jack-booting through the gates of Mordor whilst the keening lead guitar and keyboard weirdness became a hypnotic embalmment of sonic barb-wire.


Second song in and they begin to show their true colours. Sailing perilously close to over-egged synthy kitsch and Thomson Twins choruses there’s nevertheless something rather appealing about their quirky retro Radiophonic electronica. Ragged nuances of Howard Jones and Gary Numan are complimented by intimidating minor chord dronal riffs and chiming, swaggered grandeur. And, it’s always a good sign when a band swops around instruments – very commendable.


Their bashful, thrash light-metal nouveau romanticism won considerable punter appreciation during a decidedly short but well honed set. The Funeral Suits build a wall of sound with hidden doors opening on to a secret garden of ambiguous delights where compromise is not an option but a necessity. You just need to find the right key.


Funeral Suits debut album has been recorded by acclaimed producer Stephen Street (Blur, The Smiths) and is due to be released summer 2012.

Gig review by John Kennedy
Gig photos by Ian Dunn

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