DAMAGED RECORD CO.
WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY?
Review by Aaron Beer
It was only natural to suspect that Private Function would fall on their faces this time by getting serious. But, 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' is looser, livelier and just plain better than anything they've ever tried before. Even before you get the CD out of the case, they're goading you with an album cover even more idiotic than the title, a daring bid to capture this year's Fiona Apple Award for the worst title attached to a good album.
They don't tinker with their basic sound, so if you hated them before, you won't change your mind. But they've never sounded as righteous or confident as in the opening headbanger, "Hot Dog," which switches between a strange Nine Inch Nails parody and a populist summary of the worldview that makes Limp Bizkit resonate with the scared, screwed-up kids in their audience. Over Wes Borland's break-stuff guitar, Durst lays it on the line: "Fucked-up moms and fucked-up dads/There's a fucked-up cop with a fucked-up badge/Fucked-up job with fucked-up pay/Fucked-up boss, it's a fucked-up day." He really slams it home with the chorus chant, "Everybody knows this song." Damn straight -- if you don't have days like this, you're probably Jewel, and you're also lying”
Ok ok, that was an old Rolling Stone review of Limp Bizkit's Chocolate Starfish but same same.
I really shouldn’t be fuelling these punks egos, but they’ve gone and nabbed a spot in the ARIA charts for good reason.
Following 2019’s smartass album entitled St Anger, Private Function have pooled together their influences and stepped up the musicianship in every possible way.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? is a mixed bag in terms of sound and influences. 13 tracks that breeze through in just over half an hour, chopping and changing direction and tone more than your mate who had a few too many bumps and is now very passionate about whatever the fuck he’s talkin' about.
Here’s a few examples of what we get on the album.
Power chords - lots of 'em, are you even punk if you don’t use power chords?
Evie Part 4 - A follow up to the Stevie Wright saga, is she alive again?
Catchy melodies - Seriously, the 'Albury Wodonga' chorus is catchy A bloody F.
Woah oh ohhs - 'Give War a Chance' sees PF doing their best AFI impressions
Lenny Kravitz - I might prefer they followed his lead in strategic dick slips but that’s just me.
Fat Wreck Chords B Sides - Sleep Paralysis would have sit nicely on one of those 90’s pop punk compilations, it’s also my favourite song on the album and one of the more serious tracks to come out of the lads.
Radio Bangers - 'Stop Liking What I Don’t Like' reminds me of waking up to the sound of Triple M blasting though my parents clock radio at 3am sometime in the early 00’s. I could also see it being the theme song to a failed pilot, they coulda been the Party of Five band in another life.
Multi-Generational Listening - If you want some 70’s Soft Rock, 80’s surf, 90’s skate punk or naughties alt rock, there’s something there for all the family. I’m looking forward to the free jazz follow up next year.
Despite their often jokey image and batshit crazy marketing (including printing ‘mystery bags’ into their records) PF are legit musicians and artists in everything they do. The drumming is more elevated than on your average punk album, vocalist Chris Penney has a serious set of pipes on him that he utilises in an impressive variety of styles. Both guitarists draw from their encyclopaedic knowledge of music to keep things interesting, while still making it their own. The bass playing perfectly complimenting and keeping in check the utter chaos.
Stand out tracks: 'Make Me', 'Evie Part 4' and 'Sleep Paralysis'.
Check out 'Whose Line Is It Anyway?' out now through Damaged Record Co. at all good retailers.
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