Album Review: The Warhorse - It's Been Fun, It's Been Real, It's Been Funereal
L.A. Based Synthpunk duo The Warhorse have released their 2nd full length album "It's Been Fun, It's Been Real, It's Been Funereal", an album that (for full disclosure) I have been anxiously waiting for since their debut album "Chubs" released in 2016. With a smattering of singles here and there (which have been covered here on the site), their change in sound since "Chubs" has been no secret, but it really comes into full view on this album. It's heavier, angrier, everything "Chubs" had has been ripped apart and cranked to 11, including their trademark humor for track titles and brilliantly written lyrics, going from names like "doot" and "lollapalo$er" to (and I shit you not) "
Runaway Neon Miami Turbo Laser Sunset Midnight Night Drive Power Tech Force '86" and "The Worst (The Frogs are Gay and that's ok)". But what lies inside of the album, you ask?
An absolute Smörgåsbord of fantastic synth crossed with nu-metal, thrash, grind, punk and a slew of other fantastic sounds, with some of the catchiest hooks and verses I've heard in such a long time, the hook for "The Worst" has been in my head on repeat since the album dropped. This album does so much weird and bizarre stuff, but in like the absolute best way. I can promise you, you've never heard anything like The Warhorse, ESPECIALLY this current version, for better or worse (if you don't like fun that is). The features on this are some absolute powerhouses; working with synth legend Street Cleaner on an absolute rager of a track about the hell that is the entertainment industry (Which as a film student I'm vaguely in and I'm not even "in it" yet and everything that they talk about is absolutely spot on) titled "Tinseltown (Lights, Camera, Asshole!), Heavy hitter FaceXHugger (In probably his last appearance under that moniker) on "The Worst", The unmistakable grindcore soaked vocals of Nathan Fletcher from west coast grindcore group Grand Lord High Master (Which are really great btw, highly recommend them) on the brutal track "Avacado Ghost", and psych deathpop's Kent State on "I Can Phil It", a twisted cover of that end bit from Phil Collin's "In The Air Tonight", you know the part after the drum fill that everyone knows.
The original tracks are no slouches either, as said before here "Bone Apple Tea" and "Can't Stop The Clop" are fantastic and have only gotten better with slightly tweaked mixes here on the album versions, each track moving into each other fantastically. Other tracks like "The Mitch Is Wack" a track about the beautiful act of beating Mitch McConnell's face in with a baseball bat, the aforementioned "Runaway Neon etc..", which takes the piss out of some of the people in Synthwave community, which can be really shitty, and all ending on a really great cover of Sugar Ray's "Fly". This album really has it all.
In summary: "It's Been Fun, It's Been Real, It's Been Funereal" is an absolute powerhouse of an experience: absolutely wild, pissed, cynical, while also balancing times of serenity, seriousness, and consciously written lyrics. Dare I say it's an album very representative of it's time. It's an album filled to the brim with resentment and nihilism towards the current state of the world in all its glaring and pulsating faults, and throwing it all out into the stratosphere coated in the sheen of the sugar coated past, shiny 80's sounds trying desperately to latch onto this 90's/00's sense of punk and aggression towards the status quo, all culminating in a project that (to me) sounds like the soundtrack to the fucking insane times we live in, in all their strangely diluted highs and their bitter, absolutely fucked lows. It's absolutely beautiful in it's own twistedly fucked ways, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Check it out here, and consider supporting the artist by buying it on bandcamp.