Desert City Soundtrack - Funeral Car (Cover Artwork)

Desert City Soundtrack

Desert City Soundtrack: Funeral CarFuneral Car (2003)
Deep Elm Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Wow. I certainly didn't see this record coming from this label, let alone this band. Desert City Soundtrack has taken all the potential they displayed on the Contents Of Distraction EP and expounded upon them tenfold. Desert City Soundtrack's sound on this album would best be summed up as a sor.
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Wow. I certainly didn't see this record coming from this label, let alone this band. Desert City Soundtrack has taken all the potential they displayed on the Contents Of Distraction EP and expounded upon them tenfold.

Desert City Soundtrack's sound on this album would best be summed up as a sort of Black Heart Procession/Three Mile Pilot-mixed-with-your-favorite-screamy-post-hardcore band hybrid. The band's centerpiece is the use of a piano, but on their last EP the instrument tended to get drowned in the wall of sound that the quartet put forward. You could tell something special was going on, but there were so many layers to dig through it almost didn't make the effort worth it. Here on Funeral Car, the band comes out with both guns blazing, mixing their moody piano rock and thrashy DC-influenced post-hardcore nearly perfectly.

"Drawn and Quartered" is like Fugazi with a more insane drummer [who is a girl, by the way - major bonus points] and Ben Folds sitting in on piano. Hastily banged chords drive the song to the edge, only to reel the intensity back in for a jazzy interlude as singer/guitarist Matt Carillo warbles "I've starved to death / with the connections I have made," only cueing the band to explode once again in a frenzy of energy.

The band once again puts time on their side, allowing songs to be as long as they need to be to flush out their urpose. Both "These Games We Play" and album closer "Westpoint" push the 6-minute boundary, and use every second to it's fullest advantage. Meanwhile, the band goes the opposite direction on "My Hell," "Second Sickness," and "Traction and Temperature," using these short songs almost as interludes to the next grandiose passage the band has on tap.

Pianist Cory Gray also makes use of a trumpet in a handful of songs, using the instrument as an opening countermelody in "Dying Dawn." It's a perfect addition to a already near-perfect sound. Gray also contributes the majority of the screams on the album, but don't think this stuff is cookie-cutter - in each wail, I honestly feel for him. These screams aren't fake, their emotion is evident to anyone with a working set of ears.

I can only hope with this album, Desert City Soundtrack can escape the Deep Elm stigma that has cursed so many bands before them. Out of the dozens of the Deep Elm albums in my collection, this is one of the few that doesn't feel like one - the artwork and layout aren't predictable [like most Deep Elm releases are], and the production isn't thick and obvious like the past million Brandtson albums or whatnot. If people actually take the time to listen, I see Desert City Soundtrack setting the world on it's ear - all people need to do is actually listen.

Drowning Horses [full]
My Hell [clip]
Drowning Horses [clip]
Drawn And Quartered [clip]
Take You Under [clip]
These Games We Play [clip]


People who liked this also liked:
Jawbreaker - 24 Hour Revenge TherapySettlefish - Dance a While, UpsetBear Vs Shark - TerrorhawkThe Decemberists - The Crane WifeThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!The Clash - London CallingAgainst Me! - Searching For A Former ClarityAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitJawbreaker - Dear YouWeezer - Pinkerton

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
CallingLondon (November 17, 2003)

i want to go buy weed but my roommate wont' get off the damn phone. fucking cock-ass.

Anonymous (November 17, 2003)

I'm gonna start a band called "Soundtrack City Soundtrack".


Travis (November 14, 2003)

this album is so, so awesome.

jwinter (November 14, 2003)

cha... im poor.. 4 bucks is lunch! I like food.

I'll use No Idea, but I can't find this cd over there, and I already spent my allowance for cds this week.

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

Let me get this straight...you're honestly torn up over 4 bucks? Give me your address and I will send you the four dollars you need to buy this record. It's quite excellent, by the way (as is Black Phantom Crusades from RAW).

I just order a crapload of stuff from Deep Elm...they have some great sales right now. Some of their tees are 8 smackaroos, and I know that Red Animal War is on sale for 12. That includes shipping, fyi. You could do what I did and buy any five cds for $54 using a special deal.

I don't know how pricing works, but as far as I know, Jade Tree and Dischord are the only labels that really offer cds for $10...and I'm sure it's because both labels have bands that have sold a ton of records (promise ring, jtb, fugazi) and they can afford it. I could be wrong though.

Here's a question for everyone out there...what do the other "bigger" indie labels offer as far as price. And how's the service? I've ordered from Deep Elm, Dischord and Jade Tree before because they're all reliable. I've gone through No Idea before as well. Their prices are great, but you can't use a credit card and the order take a bit longer. Still nice folks. I'm just curious if anyone has other good / bad experiences.

Mailorder is fun!

jwinter (November 14, 2003)

i meant deep elm... not jade tree... jade tree has good prices

jwinter (November 14, 2003)

damn.. why does jade tree charge so much... i didn't end up buying red animal war because of that and now I'll probably pass this one up. When there's so much competition and great music out there, it's hard to spend 14 when I can easily spend 10 or less elsewhere. Looks like I go with the new denali instead this week.

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

Full length MP3 of Desert City Soundtrack's "Drowning Horses" now available:

http://anfdownloads.abercrombie.com/mp3s/desertcity sndtrk.mp3

an excellent opportunity for people who have not heard this amazing band yet...

make sure to check this band out live if they play near you...absolutely incredible...

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

so what you're saying is, when my band opens for them next month, their crowd is going to hate us. :)

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

I run over your sister with my nutsack.

Anonymous (November 14, 2003)

Well, I guess if you weren't wearing pants then a picture of you in abcense of pants would be god to put up along side the album

My sister runs over trees with her car

maverick (November 13, 2003)

What if I wasn't wearing pants?


Anonymous (November 13, 2003)

What the heck? Let me tell you how this review could have been better:

1. It could have mentioned what kind of pants the reviewer was wearing.

2. I read the whole thing twice, and no holograms jumped out of the screen. More holograms.

3. There was no $50 mail-in rebate. How do I get $50? I need it.

4. Seriously.

5. Is this cd available at Hot Topic? I'd be way more inclined to buy it if it was.

CallingLondon (November 13, 2003)

ohhhh wow....thank you scott. thank you thank you thank you.

Anonymous (November 13, 2003)

Oh, and I'm not talking about Motion City Soundtrack, another band completely.


Anonymous (November 13, 2003)

There's also a band called Motion Soundtrack. I'm not fucking kidding. This score is for completely copying band names.


Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

desert city soundtrack... motion city soundtrack.... i really don't know... whats up with that?

great band anyway

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

Oh Joshua...what are we gonna do with that joker.

huey (November 12, 2003)

This is a fucking great record. Thanks for giving it some attention Scott. I don't agree with a lot of your reviews, but I'm definitely in full agreement with you on this one. I'd give it about an 8.5. One of the best I've heard this year.

Anonymous (November 12, 2003)

wow, i know understand the ambercrombie-deep elm link, this sounds like everyone would love it.

Kurt_F (November 12, 2003)

This band is absolutely incredible.

dignin (November 12, 2003)

unrelated, but still pretty funny

"MTV Executive Grounds Son For Recommending Good Charlotte
NEW YORK?MTV executive Phillip Blanchard, 42, grounded his 15-year-old son Joshua Monday, after the alternative-rock band Good Charlotte failed to sustain its popularity among viewers of the cable music station. "Joshua needs to learn that his choices have consequences," said Blanchard, who took away his teenage son's credit-card privileges for the week. "Maybe next time, Joshua will think twice before over-hyping some pop-punk crap." As additional punishment, Blanchard had Joshua organize the family's extensive video library of Road Rules episodes chronologically."

THe Onion is the best.

greyicewater (November 11, 2003)

wow. those clips sound really really good. i need to get this album and go see them on the 22nd.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

I was in a desert once. If I had made a soundtrack for it, it would have been more like this. Oh wait, I can't type sounds.

Who wants to party?

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)


Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

How many (insert name) Soundtrack bands are there?


Anonymous (November 11, 2003)


Jesse (November 11, 2003)

The piano lines remind me of Murder By Death.

JiveSide (November 11, 2003)

I was wondering when this band would release another record...hells yeah, I'm on it. "Contents" was great, can't wait to check out this one. Peace.

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

thought* mother fucker

Anonymous (November 11, 2003)

wow scott takes his head out of his ass and actually reviews a great cd. never though this day would come.

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