Before The World Beat You Down
It’s an understatement to say that the years since Mr. Lewis and The Funeral 5’s last album, “Delirium Tremendous” have been tough for all involved. In 2017 Greg Lewis’ estranged girlfriend commited suicide. Just months later, James Sheeran’s longtime partner, fellow musician Kerri Luker lost her battle with cancer. The year capped off with a divorce looming for guitarist Rob Metcalfe.
On the music front, amicable, yet disruptive, personnel changes occured. Keyboardist Phil Howard and sax player Nick Rauh relocated from the band’s homebase of Austin. Longtime members Danny Dervish and James Bonura also exited the band due to family obligations.
Happily, the band has managed to land on their feet with the addition of Jared Wiley on keyboards, Gabriel Von Asher on bass, and Dez Desormeaux on saxophone. Wiley arrived in Austin after playing viola in the Bozeman, Montana symphony. Von Asher and Desormeaux are esteemed Austin musicians who have performed in everything from punk to tejano bands.
The band, along with producer Danny Reisch (White Denim, Okkervil River) closed ranks and created a devastating masterpiece of grief and regret, tempered with Greg Lewis’ clever, morbid, and dryly humorous lyrics. The songs on “Before The World Beat You Down”, take the listener on a journey through a loungey hellride that appears to be headed toward some sort of closure, only to leave them suspended in mid-air.