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The Funeral Pudding
LP $24.00

08/09/2024 843563178485 

BM 04 

The Funeral Pudding originally came out as a CD-only release on the Dutch label Brinkman to promote Thinking Fellers Union Local 282’s 1994 European tour. For the domestic release, the band chose Chicago’s Ajax Records—which had already released two TFUL282 singles in 1990—to press a 12-inch mini-LP.

Comprising a selection of songs masterfully recorded and produced by Greg Freeman right after the sessions that yielded 1993’s Admonishing The Bishops EP, The Funeral Pudding could be thought of as a sister release to that EP; indeed, the band originally considered combining tracks from both sessions into a single album. Had it been released, that record would’ve followed the pattern of the previous album in which the band’s pop and avant-garde leanings are yoked together cheek by jowl. Instead, Admonishing showcases the band at its most accessible while The Funeral Pudding flaunts their more expansive, abrasive and absurdist side without forfeiting the earlier EP’s miraculously high standards for songwriting and sonic clarity.

What makes The Funeral Pudding a unique feather in the Fellers’ cap is that most of the tracks are sung by bassist Anne Eickelberg and guitarist Hugh Swarts—a notable departure from the Davies / Hageman vocal dominance on most of the other albums. With Eickelberg’s soaring vocals leading the proceedings, tracks like “Waited Too Long” and “Heavy Head” are some of the most beloved in the band’s discography. And “23 Kings Crossing” is a whiplash-inducing psych / prog stunner that adds another metric ton to the burden of proof demonstrating that TFUL282 was creating some of the most thrilling, enduring and sonically autonomous music of its era.

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