If you haven’t heard the story of Delco Detention yet, here’s the SparkNotes version: A father-son duo plays Rock and Metal songs together in their spare time. The twists? Their songs are written by the 10-year-old son, and they performed their critically praised first album (From the Basement) with the likes of Neil Fallon (Clutch), Bob Balch (Fu Manchu), and Rogers Stevens (Blind Mellon).
And while the band (Adam Pomerantz and 10-year-old Tyler Pomerantz) has every right to bask in the praise for From the Basement, they’ve got plenty left in the tank. Their latest release, Funhouse, is a collection of covers recorded when Tyler was still nine years old.
The result is a fun and faithful collection of covers from bands and performers like Black Sabbath, All Them Witches, Clutch, and Brant Bjork.
About Delco Detention
The idea behind Delco Detention sounds like a gimmick, but it’s not. Adam and Tyler are both skillful musicians, and Tyler has continuously wowed live crowds with his guitar chops.
Originally a drummer, Tyler eventually moved to the bass and then to the electric guitar after seeing Clutch’s Tim Sult perform in concert.
On Funhouse, Delco Detention performs with guest singer Krissy Allen McPherson, who appeared on “Mascat” on From the Basement.
The album also features Jared Collins of Mississippi Bones, who also had a few guest slots of his own on that debut album, including the opening track, “It Came From the Basement”:
Funhouse was mixed and mastered by Leonard Klaic of She Loves Pablo (yet another From the Basement collaborator) of Croatia. The album artwork was created by Jason LaFave.
Funhouse Album Review
Release Date: November 1, 2021
Track 1: Jumpin’ Jack Flash (The Rolling Stones Cover)
A slightly heavier cover of a lithe Rock classic, here we find Tyler riding his wah pedal—a tool that inspired his transition from bassist to lead guitarist. Krissy Allen McPherson is an excellent addition to the Delco Detention duo (just as she was on “Mascat”), and her laid back vocals fit perfectly into the Delco Detention groove. Overall, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is a fun cover that shows Tyler and Adam in a different form from what we heard in From the Basement.
Track 2: Chocolatize (Brant Bjork)
Brant Bjork is a favorite in the Pomerantz household (check out that photo below), and Krissy Allen McPherson nails his voice—and she does so well enough that I initially thought Adam and Tyler were working with the original vocal track. The Brant Bjork material, it turns out, is right in the Delco Detention sweet spot, and this is the first taste of three excellent Brant Bjork covers on Funhouse.
Track 3: War Pigs (Black Sabbath)
“War Pigs” is a bold cover to attempt, especially for a nine-year-old kid, but Delco Detention manages the song perfectly—with much of the original grit and darkness intact. Krissy Allen McPherson isn’t Ozzy (And who is?), but she does a solid impression and mixes in a good deal of vocal fry for extra effect. While this is a technically sound cover, it’s almost as lithe as the band’s version of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash.”
Track 4: Precious (The Pretenders)
Chrissie Hynde’s larger-than-life personality on “Precious” is one of The Pretenders’ hallmarks, so its curious that Delco Detention has allowed Krissy—an energetic vocalist herself—to sit back in the final recording. Still, Delco Detention’s cover is strong in its own right, and it’s worth an extra spin or two before moving on to Track 5.
Track 5: Charles William (All Them Witches)
Adam and Tyler are both big All Them Witches fans, so I was excited to hear their interpretation of a band that isn’t afraid to travel off the beaten path. Here, Krissy’s vocals are draped in effects to capture Charles Michael Parks Jr.’s ethereal, lackadaisical voice. The breakdown on this song is a blast, and we really get a chance to see Adam’s full capabilities on the drums.
Track 6: Dragonaut (Sleep)
As I looked through the track listing in preparation for this review, this is the song I was most anxious to reach. Although I’m admittedly not the biggest fan of the seminal Stoner/Doom group, I have plenty of respect for Sleep’s mountainous riffs and massive delivery, and I was curious about how Delco Detention would approach such a revered song. As it turns out, the band does a great job emulating the Sleep setup, and Krissy’s vocals are cleverly drenched in distortion and reverb—an excellent touch. All of this makes “Dragonaut” one of the best covers on Funhouse.
Track 7: Whipping Post (Allman Brothers Band)
As you’ve probably noticed by now, this isn’t a cover album dedicated to hits. Sure, “Whipping Post” isn’t unknown, but it’s also not “Midnight Rider” or “Ramblin’ Man” (the same way “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” isn’t “Gimme Shelter” or “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”). But that doesn’t seem to matter by the time “Whipping Post” is wrapped up by Delco Detention’s capable hands. Here, the song is reimagined with a Hard Rock tinge, and that unlocks a new depth of emotion the original song lacks.
Track 8: Punk Rock Guilt (Brant Bjork)
Perhaps the best track on the entire album, Delco Detention crushes this song from front to back, perfectly capturing those cool, laid-back vibes of the former Kyuss and Fu Manchu alum.
Track 9: Fairies Wear Boots (Black Sabbath)
Another fun, faithful cover delivered in the same style as “War Pigs,” “Fairies Wear Boots” showcases Tyler’s skill as a growing guitarist, especially in the intro solo.
Track 10: Son of Virginia (Clutch)
It’s difficult to follow up a Clutch original, especially an immediate classic like “Son of Virginia” (a song from Psychic Warfare). As this cover is missing that characteristic Tim Sult tone and that deep voice from Neil Fallon, Delco Detention delivers something that is slightly more ethereal and introspective than the original track.
Track 11: Blowin’ Up Shop (Brant Bjork)
The final Brant Bjork cover on the album, “Blowin’ Up Shop” is another fun track for each performer, especially with its quick, intricate riffs and tight drumming.
Track 12: Cisco Kid (War)
“Cisco Kid” is an interesting closer for Funhouse, as it shows Delco Detention dipping its toes into Reggae Rock. Having Jared Collins back on vocals is definitely nice, as he’s always fit in well with Tyler and Adam.
Final Score: 8/10
Standout Tracks: “Punk Rock Guilt,” “Dragonaut,” and “Whipping Post”
Pros: As on From the Basement, there’s plenty to be impressed about. Remember, of course, that the bassist and guitarist on this album is a child—only nine years old! That makes some of the bigger, ballsier covers—like “Dragonaut” even more impressive.
And while Tyler and Adam are skilled musicians, Krissy energetic voice steals the show in some areas, as her voice fits perfectly with the father-son duo.
At its very best, Funhouse is a stunning collection of covers, and that dash of Delco Detention Hard Rock grit offers a fresh perspective on some true classics.
Cons: At times, Funhouse is an album best left for the Delco Detention diehards. After listening to the creativity and skill present in From the Basement, Funhouse seems like a flirt. In its best moments, Funhouse nails the covers—sometimes as well as the original tracks. Occasionally, though, the Funhouse covers lack the depth of the original tunes—without adding anything new.
All in all, Funhouse serves its purpose. It is a fun album of covers, and it should help hold fans over as Delco Detention continues to work on new material.