Review by Shayne McGowan
Private Function - St Anger
*The names contained within the below story have been altered to protect the innocent*
Do you remember the first time you drank? Now I’m not talking about a sip of Dads beer, or even that first beer of your own. I’m talking about getting full on, legless drunk.
I remember it, although probably (definitely) not fully - It was messy, and a good 25 years ago. This album reminded me of that night, and the events that unfolded throughout the party.
The boldly titled “St Anger” opens with the energetic White Lady Funerals. It’s the first beer of the evening. There’s a “getting to know you” feeling - we’re sipping that first drink, and assessing the situation that surrounds us and getting comfortable.
As Shut Up kicks in, we’ve cracked our second beer and things are getting much looser. It’s a frenetic track, and infinitely catchy. Much like the party in question, a good time is now underway. Talking To Myself is punk rock perfection in the vein of Dead Kennedys, offering up something very familiar sounding - much like the familiarity that is unfolding at the party. Things are getting loud now, and definitely heating up - Rob and Kate have discovered each other and they’re hooking up in the corner. Steve is already puking in the pot plant.
Process of Elimination introduces a touch of aggression to the vocals. The guitar tone here is so perfect, and fits the vibe that Private Function are creating. The mild aggression is unfolding at the party too - a push and shove match breaks out between party goers and uninvited gate crashers. The situation doesn’t have the chance to escalate though - Ben produces a bag of weed that he stole out of his step brothers car, and our gate crashers become new friends.
A ripping cover of Midnight Oils “King of the Mountain” is up next. Speeding this classic up significantly, and giving it a very punk rock attitude, Private Function pay homage to the Oils in fine fashion. At the party, the energy is at fever pitch - the music is loud, and an impromptu mosh pit has broken out on the patio. Things are getting broken, as the misfit group of drunken 15 year olds demonstrate complete disregard for the property or their own safety. Such good times!
My Bully Is Dead is an infectious pop infused punk rocker, but thematically, it’s about as subtle as a warning shot through the forehead. “My bully is dead, and his brother is crying, and I couldn’t be happier” - this is gold! Honestly, I could listen to this album over and over (and have), which goes hand in hand with the party storyline too, because Dean just hit play on Korns “Follow The Leader” album for the third time in a row.
As Thick of it All and Saboteur unfold vigorously, Justin has found a 44 gallon drum in the backyard, and decides to have a fire. While the aforementioned tracks are both great additions to the album, the idea of smashed 15 year olds starting a fire is terrible, and as the shade cloth roof melts away under the heat, so too does any semblance of order.
A bottle of tequila is produced, and after several shots, party goers are becoming increasingly aggressive or emotional. Scuffles are breaking out all over the place, and as Am I In Love? starts Matt is weeping over his unrequited love of Bec. The tequila doesn’t agree with Steve, who resumes puking - this time all over the carpet and couch.
Marco Chan is a fist pumper. The tracks on St Anger are raw, yet unapologetically catchy and kind of uplifting. It’s a really great album from start to finish. Uncomplicated, yet superbly executed. The same can’t be said of the party - it’s now decayed into chaos, and Rob has shifted his attention from Kate, to the current condition of his parents house. Anger replaces his lust as he begins kicking people out.
God Save the King Hit features a groove that bounces along. Another catchy slab of punk rock greatness. Only a few remain at the party now. I’m waiting on my Dad to pick me up. I’m extremely drunk, but I’m sure he won’t know...
Assassination (And Tinpots) is the final blow. Its the perfect capper to an album of frantic good times. As my old man arrives to pick me up, I walk a perfectly straight line (not likely) to his car and hop in. I’m amazed at how good I am at hiding my drunkenness (doubt it!) and I’m super impressed that I’ve pulled the wool over his eyes (nice try!).
This album wears me out, but leaves me wanting to do it all over again. Private Function are great at what they do, and provide such a fun listening experience.
Although my parents were none the wiser about my exploits (of course they were) the next morning it was crystal clear. I had a monster headache, and felt terribly sick. Regardless, I’d had an epic time, and was ready to do it again- much like with St Anger (minus the hangover and sickness of course).
This is an album that reminds me of great times, when life was simpler. It’s amazingly good!