The Incurables: Funhouse

Michigan’s mighty Incurables once again claim the crown of the Mentos in a shaken-up bottle of Coca Cola…their new single explodes when you twist off the cap and sprays you with carbonated rock and roll glory. Sounding like a hybrid between the Peter Gunn Theme and Stone Temple Pilots’ “Big Bang Baby,” their new Big Stir single “Funhouse” starts with Ray Lawson’s “the calls are coming from INSIDE THE HOUSE” ominous bass, as he sings “It’s time for a new sensation, No need for an explanation, Come in step inside, There’s a reason to run and hide…”

As the song unfolds, my mind is flooded with non-stop images of every big-haired 80s scream queen in every cheesy horror film I loved as much as the air I breathed. I imagine phones ringing off the hook in Detroit from Tobe Hooper and John Carpenter acolytes, wanting to do lunch with the band and talk about using it their new film. And…as often is the case with this band…at the 2:48 mark, there’s a little surprise in this box of Cracker Jack as Pat Kelly whips out a shock and awe speed of light solo, and when the riff comes back in, I’m thinking less of Stone Temple Pilots and more of prime and deadly Blue Öyster Cult, this mind-bending, authoratative confidence as Darrin Lawson drums his ass off…LISTEN to that little turn-around he does around the 3:15 mark to pull the band out of the solo and back into the riff.

AND, like MANY other Incurables tracks, the second it’s over, you’ll go DAMN…I need to hear that AGAIN.

The B-Side…their cover of “Muskrat Love”…what can I say? I was kidding around with the band on Twitter late last year and threw that title at them and they responded “HOW DID YOU KNOW?” And here it is…no, it’s not a call to light some candles and sink into a warm bubble bath, it comes at you like “Search and Destroy” (Iggy and Ron Asheton all OVER this single, even though “Funhouse” is not THAT “Fun House”). It takes a “straight ahead” approach a la many of the Ramones’ covers of classic pop songs, with a “HEY HEY HEY!” coming about a minute in…and if we have learned anything at all about rock and roll, we know that Toni and the Captain NEVER had a rave-up…not ONCE (go double check it on Google, I’ll wait).

When this band sings “Muzzle to muzzle, anything goes,” you’re just as apt to visialize a David Lynch film as you are to envision sweet and cuddly Muppets.

What gives this band staying power and makes their new releases an event is that there is such an undeniable sense of commitment, of fun, of the right musicians finding each other and putting their hands together a la that famed Fab Four battle cry “Where are we going lads? TO THE TOP!”

It’s everything you loved a half century ago mixed with everything deserving of your love right NOW. This is rock and roll. This is The Incurables.