Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 – The Funeral Pudding

3 out of 5

Label: Ajax Records

Produced by: Greg Freeman, TFUL 282

While I like this EP quite a bit, I’ll admit that the short runtime makes the prodigious amount of Feller Filler a bit if stretch, especially when factoring in the 8+ minute half-interesting go-nowhere instrumental miasma of Give Me Back My Golden Arm.

However, before we get to all of that, there’s a smattering of excellent tracks, following the kitchen sink vibe of Strangers From the Universe era TFUL with a pleasant, laid-back tone.  Opener Waited Too Long is a prime example of this: A half gentle, half screechy banjo tune with that typical silly yet mysterious lyrical focus the band specializes in, this time as sung by Anne Eickelberg.  A Camper Van Beethoven-like surf instrumental – Flames Up – follows, and then a short but effective Filler lead-in (lumping that in with a mis-labeled untitled track) to another pair of winners: The epic rocking ebb and flow of Heavy Head, and another banjo-centric, dreamy track fronted by Eickelberg.

Hereafter, sure, the disc sort of wanders.  First through that long-ass track – which isn’t bad, just overstays its welcome on a short disc – and a couple of throwaway filler tracks at the end.

Narrowed down to its fleshed-out offerings or expanded to full length, this would be essential listening, filling a small stylistic gap between the loose Lovelyville and rollicking Strangers.  As presented, it feels a bit misleading, but still certainly offers up its share of worthwhile music.

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