The Funerals

Pathetic Me

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The Funerals, the melancholy band that includes members of Iceland's electronica gurus Trabant, play slow country music with a rough-hewn, straight to two-track intimacy. Though the Funerals are less dreamy than the Zephyrs, the Scottish band is probably their closest living relative. On their debut, the Funerals offer up their surreal, icy, yet sometimes intentionally humorous take on Americana. With sorry songs, rootsy rockers, and tragic ballads, the band manages to evoke everything from Emmylou Harris ("Rain and Snow") to the dark grandeur of Lee Hazlewood ("Greatest Bar on Earth") to Johnny Cash ("The Power of Pathetic"). "Puppy Eyes" is a subtle, rock-inflected tune that easily could have fit in on Ryan Adams' brilliant Heartbreaker, but for the most part the Funerals travel a more downtrodden road. "Pathetic Me" is a Malkmus-meets-country anthem -- a sleepy, sad-sack drinking song that will please fans of Pavement, Gram Parsons, Dinosaur Jr., and Johnny Cash alike.

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