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Sunday, November 23, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 50.0° F  Overcast
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Wall of Funk: Vital Hiatus

Wall of Funk: Vital Hiatus

This Madison trio is less about funk than bluesy hard rock topped with vocals that are slurred, growled and screamed.

So why call the band Wall of Funk? The album's liner notes explain the band's intent: It's a symbol of their existence, "what ties everyone and everything together. It can be built up or torn down."

The songs' narratives seem to favor tearing down. "Skank Rock" and "Bat in Your Face" blend blistering electric guitar, screamo and lyrical imagery that's disturbing and gratuitous: "'Cause all I want to do is take this funky bat and beat your faces in smash on smash."

Wall of Funk's members show promise when they tone down their aggression. The guitar improvisation on "Wandering Out" provides a dreamy, psychedelic feel. The acoustic riff that opens "Hiatus" builds into a slow groove that takes flight with a skillful wail of electric guitar.

But the album's frequent hostility undercuts a clear artistic purpose, casting darkness that leaves the bright spots dim.

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