Schoolyard Heroes

The Funeral Sciences

Seattle’s Schoolyard Heroes is a great new rock band. As has been said in this paper already, these Heroes play a variety of styles off one another—metal, punk, pop and even bits of operatic bombast hopscotch over one another in blunt dynamic shifts that make writers twist long sentences like this into knots. While this incredible recording pushes the muscular sounds way out front, the slick production has cleaned up a little too much of the dirt that made the group’s live show so powerful. Lyrics-wise, this debut is soaked in the blood of horror movies and death. From the opener, “Curse of the Werewolf,” front woman Ryann Donnelly declares her intentions, “Last night/ and I’m out on the prowl,” and by the end she’s still lurking in the darkness in the letters of Bram Stoker’s Dracula investigator in “Sincerely Yours, Jonathan Harker,” shrieking, “Check the body before it gets cold!” And there’s plenty of mayhem in between, with broken relationships splattering blood on sundresses and boyfriends getting their heads smashed in. The Funeral Sciences drapes a compelling, broad theme over a unique and equally broad musical approach.