Butterfist Funhouse – Scenes From An Italian Drama

 Butterfist Funhouse – Scenes From An Italian Drama

Butterfist Funhouse – Scenes From An Italian Drama – EP Review

There’s often a story behind the madness, but it’s up to you to find it.”  #Truth

I mean…when you got this much sauce, people listen & pay attention, that’s just the reality.  From what it looks like out there online, Butterfist Funhouse likely started back around 2019 somewhere…not 100% sure on the full details, but I’m thinkin’ originally as a two-piece with players Joe Proulx & Nate Jacobucci according the what I can find out online…though it should also be noted that the third player on this new record – Will Pops – also appeared on their original self-titled debut as well.  In addition to what looks like another four or five contributors to that initial lineup of songs too mind you – this new EP actually dials back the cast of characters involved for Scenes From An Italian Drama to the core three.  I might not be too familiar with what Will & Joe have done out there so far – but I can vouch for the fact that if they’re riding with Jacobucci, I’m definitely gonna be the guy that’s more than willing to listen to Butterfist Funhouse after such an excellent experience with Nate’s music earlier this year on his album O-Bone.  I might not know the full “story behind the madness” but I know what the sound of a musician I can rely on is, and our friendly fellow Canadian Nate, based in Winnipeg, is as reliable as reliable can be.

The instant appeal of “I Got The Sauce” is one of the most ridiculously appealing vibes that I’ve heard this year without question – this is hybrid sound in action with radiant energy.  What’s really happening here, is they’re on their early-90s jam here…what you’re hearing is actually the sound of what a ton of music was like in the years before Grunge broke – when innovative artists like Robbie Nevil and Johnny Gill, or bands like P.M. Dawn & Scritti Politti were out there filling the speakers of the most savvy listeners all around the globe – and this first song is like its own blissful combination of all of’em at once!  All these artists/bands were experimenting hard with Pop songs with bold bass-lines and snazzy instrumentation that led to remarkably endearing melodies & unforgettable moments.  Butterfist Funhouse seems to readily embrace the old-school combo of Light-Funk/Rock immediately with “I Got The Sauce,” and I’ll be damned if they didn’t prove just how continually relevant it STILL is right in the here & now.  That’s what I’ve been tellin’ ya folks – this first cut starts up, and if you can somehow resist the charisma and charm on display…I mean…congratulations on being made of pure granite?  If you’re like…you know…somehow finding that you’re in the vast minority of people that wouldn’t love “I Got The Sauce,” it’s probably best that you keep that information to yourself if I’m being entirely honest with ya…it wouldn’t be trivia to be proud of.  The real question going into this song, was whether or not they did in fact, have the sauce.  It takes no time at all to listen to this first track and realize that yes…HELL YES they do – they’ve got extra sauce if the opening cut is any indication – I could listen to the bounce & energy & soul & style in this tune all day long.  Clever instrumentation, and a great spin on sounds we know as listeners, refreshed with the right passion & attitude that’s gonna have no problem at all connecting with the people out there today – let’s be real here…it’s rare to find an enticing start to a record like you’ll find on Scenes From An Italian Drama.  It’s like…it’s like what you might think Collective Soul could have been like as a Disco-based act; the sound is brilliantly smooth, the hooks from the music to the microphone are entirely bulletproof, and overall, this whole band immediately proves they don’t just have the sauce – they’ve got the sauce you WANT, with all the right flavors, textures, and tones to make this audible meal real heckin’ tasty & get everyone diggin’ in ravenously right off the bat.

Butterfist Funhouse will reveal pretty quickly, that they’ve got no intentions of being any one specific thing, or give anyone the opportunity to pigeonhole what they do to one particular style or sound.  If you look at the credits on the record, you’ll see the writing & lead-duties are fairly split across the board throughout the four songs on this EP…or at least, as much as can be done with three people & four tunes – you get the idea I’m sure.  “The Scent Of A Liar In The Fight” presents a different dimension of the Butterfist Funhouse sound on a track led by Joe this time around…much closer towards the late 70s Progressive sound than what we heard in the first tune, yet so oddly cohesive still that it’s practically beyond words.  There’s just something about this crew that makes you wanna stick with’em at all times, no matter which direction this EP will twist and turn itself in…to me, it’s just the natural effect of great songwriting, stellar musicianship, and real passion combined – our ears wanna keep listening, because everything you’ll hear is genuine interesting.  Heck…I mean…let’s be real here – even the TITLE is interesting, ain’t it?  Who the heck notices “The Scent Of A Liar In The Fight” to begin with, and then has the inkling to write a song about it later on?  Butterfist Funhouse ain’t lacking uniqueness y’all, that much is very apparent.  Loving the playful piano melodies, loving the riotous drums throughout this cut, the lead-vocals from Joe are strong and the harmonies might be even stronger, and I really dig the level of versatility in the structure & design at work on this second track – they make time for the music to shine, and my ears appreciate that.  Especially when it comes to a band that’s capable and ready to do things differently like good ol’ Butterfist here…it’s nothing but rewarding to go on an audible trip with these crazy cats and follow’em down whatever rabbit-hole they wanna lead you into next.  The guitar deserves a ton of credit for the way “The Scent Of A Liar In The Fight” comes out as well…it’s a strength that goes from good to great along the course of this song – Butterfist Funhouse might arguably trade in a bit of the accessibility they pumped out in the vibes of the first cut on this second one here, but what you get in return is a substantial tune that’s got a whole lotta depth in the writing and instrumentation.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the only member of this band I was originally familiar with was Nate – and given that I loved the record I previously reviewed from the dude, it was pretty natural to assume I’d dig hearing the sound of his voice snag the lead duties for the third cut, “Primavera” – which I did, of course.  I ain’t gonna lie to ya…it would be very hard to outdo “I Got The Sauce” on this EP for me personally…even though I’d say “Primavera” would be more of a fit for my own taste regularly.  Nothing against Butterfist Funhouse here…no points taken away – it’s a case of real points earned actually – I think the hybrid vibes of “I Got The Sauce” is one of the best fusions between the old & the new I’ve heard in quite a while is all.  “Primavera” would be more like what I’d consider a more traditional approach to a classic infusion of music’s history into the modern-day that we’re familiar with…you know, that whole noticeably tangible Beatles-esque type-thing that shows up in just about all of our music at some point in time.  That being said, whenever you see that comparison in the mix, you can rest assured you’ll get a high dose of colorful melody, which you get within the prismatic splendor of “Primavera” – there’s a ton of spectacular elements that add up to a sensational listen here.  Almost kind of a Bowie-esque flex at work here too when the guitars flare up…and lyrically, you’ll find more to a track like “Primavera” than its dreamy melody would have you believing at first.  In fact, if I’m not mistaken, “Primavera” ain’t a sauce, it’s actually a person in the context of this particular song, which is kinda like the ultimate curveball you wouldn’t ever be expecting, making a guy like myself even question whether or not I’m crazy to be writing this theory here out for you in words – but I’m pretty sure that’s what’s goin’ on here.  True to its titular implications, you get real Scenes From An Italian Drama that run through the storyline and direction of the music in this tune as well…there’s a versatility to “Primavera” that makes for an adventurous experience to listen to as you try to piece this story together and make some sense out of it all.  I mean, I ain’t gonna lie to ya…it takes at least a spin before ya clue in to the fact that you’re not hearing a song about a sauce here…not because it’s that ambiguous in the lyricism, but because you’d just never expect to hear a song written for a person with the name “Primavera.”  But what do I know?  Elon Musk named his kid whatever the heck that combination of characters sounds like, you got people like Martin & Paltrow tellin’ us that Apple is fair game to name a human being too – so I suppose “Primavera” is equally fair game, ain’t it?  In any event, it sounds like she’s gone missing here in this tale that drifts brilliantly between the serenity of spacious melody when reflecting on “Primavera,” and switches in the tension & intensity of digging into the mystery along the way.  Bonus points for the final five seconds too – but I don’t need to tell them that – you can fully hear Butterfist Funhouse laughing if you’re listening closely to the end of this cut, right after they light up the keys.

Alright.  So.  Why we pickin’ on the bald community Butterfist Funhouse?  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not quite part of the club yet…let’s just say I’m heading there.  But don’t think I didn’t notice that on the first record, there’s a track called “Bald People” and on this new EP, you finish it off with “Bald Backpacker Man” – so what the heck gives?  I’ve seen bands out there dedicate their careers to writing about things like cars and feelings and all kinds of stuff – even beards (See: The Beards, who in fact, only write about beards) – but I mean…it IS a little strange to be fixated on the bald, ain’t it?  Alright.  Clearly I’m having a little fun with this…I just think it’s an odd observation to be made between the past & present of Butterfist Funhouse, and something that’s actually quite unique.  Plus, if you’re listening to “Bald Backpacker Man” you know that they ain’t picking on anyone at all – hell, this is practically a tributary testament & toast to just how beautiful those bald folks truly are.  “You’re a source of inspiration – we don’t deserve you…” as Will Pops will sing to ya…and clearly, they’re having a little fun with the lyricism of this cut too – it’s not lost on me that Butterfist Funhouse is made up a band of players that clearly have no qualms about trippin’ right out into the beyond, wherever their mood & music might take them.  Do I expect everyone out there to get “Bald Backpacker Man?”  Not really – but in a way, I kinda do too; I’d readily concede that sure, it’s not gonna be the most universal concept you’ll ever find in music, but by that same token, true uniqueness always stands out, and they end up in this like…combination of sound that ranges from smooth Jazz-like vibes to hooks you could even find in something like Foo Fighters.  If that seems like it’s a long way to travel, it’s because it is – but you’ll hear that it works out well for Butterfist Funhouse on this final cut from Scenes From An Italian Drama – this band might be right out there in terms of their ideas, but in terms of how they execute, they’re completely in control.  It’s an engaging and entertaining cut to have gone out on…the guitar around the 3:30 mark gets the bonus points this time around…but definitely credit to Will as well, who seems to have the ability to take the songs of Butterfist Funhouse to a special level of accessibility in the bizarre that’s truly rare.  Dude’s got a fantastic voice and the confidence to use it…they all do, don’t get me wrong – but I felt like it was the first cut & the last that’ll likely make the quickest impact on the listeners out there, while the two tracks in the middle supply the real meat in this sandwich that’ll satisfying the rest of your cravings.

Listen to more music by Butterfist Funhouse at Spotify:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/0M3GvyIfOZbvNjnDLgnCXz

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