On Shuffle: Phone Home – "Funhouse"


These two guys. Do any of you out there have brothers? I have two brothers, and they’re the worst things that have ever happened to me. I can’t stand them. One of them is like four feet tall but thinks he’s the king of everything. The other has a mullet because he thinks it’s cool. I would describe both of them as constant pains in the neck. I would describe neither of them as pleasant.

I mention this because Phone Home is made up of a couple of brothers, John and Michael Vallarelli, and I can only imagine how much they hate each other right now. Because how better to empathize with anyone else than to project my own reality over their lives? That’s just how I view this awful world. Here’s how Phone Home band practices go, because this is how band practices with my brothers would go:

John: OK, let’s start “Funhouse” from the top, but watch when you come in after the first chorus – you’ve been a little slow.

Michael: I’ll kill you, you monster! *Throws drumsticks, guitar, keyboards at John, tackles John to the ground, fistfight ensues.*

Ah, Christmas.

What? Sorry. In my defense, they were about to practice “Funhouse” in my imaginary situation, and that’s what I’m here about. And I wish they’d gotten around to it. See, “Funhouse” is the first single off the forthcoming Heights EP, and it’s as catchy as its name suggests. Phone Home’s brand of slightly electronic, pulsing, pop-flavored instrumental post-rockishness (I guess the Octopus Project could be considered an easy-ish comparison) is super bubblegummy to these jaded ears. I mean seriously – I woke up from a nap screaming and crying the other day. My night terrors have followed me into the sunlight.

Anyway, what “Funhouse” does is not get in the way of itself, and enjoys all of its three minutes of existence. The drums are great, and the piercing synths add a wildly upbeat and frantic intensity that will make you laugh and jump around. It’s just a lot of freaking fun, you readers, just get over it and love the endorphin rush. God knows the Vallarellis probably need to make happy music just to be able to stand being in the same room with each other. It’s like their Xanax. (Or maybe they actually can stand to be around each other. Who knows.)

And aren’t you all glad I didn’t go for the easy E.T. jokes? Maybe next time.

Heights out sometime, somewhere soon! Keep your ear to the grindstone.


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