For a debut full-length album, The Undertaking!’s Funeral Psalms is bursting at the seams with energy and serious passion. It’s not polished for easy listening, but it’s thick with the sounds of noise rock and punk vocals. There are brief moments of melodic softness and the occasional traditional rock influence, but mostly this band created their own animal and didn’t seem to care about how that fit into any defined genre.
What The Undertaking! did best on this album is difficult to define. It’s less about a quantified lyrical accomplishment and more about capturing the aura of pain. The vocals aren’t always the greatest technically, but Funeral Psalms is seething with introspection, pain, learning, and growth from the outset to the closing notes.
This album is an example of the fact that music is truly the great equalizer, the place where we can all come to meet on common ground.
Transparency is as natural on this album as the funky, sometimes uncomfortable energy it brings. “I Really Don’t Want to Be Here,” for example, captures the visceral feeling of anxiousness with with precision. In other songs, lyrics like, “All my friends are scavengers, ripping to the bones” and “Sometimes dead is better… someone grab my hand” jump out with raw, unexpected vulnerability that tell of experiences that are almost unspeakably painful outside of music, where everything is sacred and nothing is off limits.
This album is an example of the fact that music is truly the great equalizer, the place where we can all come to meet on common ground. We may not all have the same experiences, but we have all struggled, felt loss of some sort, and questioned our value and worth in the eyes of who made us. The Undertaking! just brought those ponderances to the carpet and beat them with the honesty and freedom that punk music allows for during a time in our existence that is desperate for such an authentic experience.