Mr. Lewis & the Funeral 5
Delirium Tremendous (Chicken Ranch)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Sept. 9, 2011
Mr. Lewis & the Funeral 5Delirium Tremendous (Chicken Ranch)
Recognition is due Gregory Lewis and his Funeral 5 for attempting – and mostly succeeding with – something different. Delirium Tremendous, their second undertaking, finds the local troupe strengthening its choke hold on "macabaret": Imagine Tom Waits as a carnival barker fronting a punk klezmer band outside the gates of hell. While unabashedly over the top, what's striking in front of a live audience hasn't translated into many repeat listens. Lewis' marquee vox, more controlled on the band's debut, have developed a personality of their own, one you wish just once wouldn't tremble or roar. It's a fine line between a tortured singer and a tortured audience. The merry-go-round hits full speed on "Villa Nocturne," while "Alcohol," a Kurt Weill-inspired Kinks cover, is a shrewd match. Unorthodoxy works but caterwaul not as much.