4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Second album for FFAF shows new emotional depth,
This review is from: Hours (Audio CD)
FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND - HOURS
Funeral for a friend are one of a few British bands who have a large fanbase from their live shows before even releasing a debut album. Their EP Seven Ways to Scream Your Name coupled with their first full length album Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation highlighted a collection of songs evidently from their live sets showing extremely competent skill and depth for a band labelled simply as 'emo'. Unlike American emo bands, who sing in punk tones about girls and make-up, welsh Funeral for a friend offer a more poetic side. Unlike their previous work, their second album Hours promised an album that was structured, written and recorded as a record in itself, and you can tell.
First off, this is no young power chord strumming collective - the guitar parts, both lead and rhythm, are all expertly written in such a way that you won't notice on the first few listens. For a relatively young band the guitar work is incredibly mature and original. Riffs are fast paced and complex, but it seems once they have found a verse and chorus riff for a song, they tend not to vary much from that, no unexpected breakdowns or solos like fellow Britons Reuben. The bass also comes into play more than in their previous works, to good effect. They also aren't afraid to explore various different styles; History using acoustic guitars to complement Matt's emotional voice while The End of Nothing employs heavy riffage and screams similar to that of a black metal band. It's so easy to see how much they have evolved since their last work, every song is worked out to the finest detail, and the vocals are much cleaner now and fit perfectly in with the upbeat guitars. The lyrics and singing style have both cranked up a notch, with less attempts to sound metal and a more heartfelt lighter voice coming through. The lyrics, although typically teenage, do well to convey feelings about love, change and atmosphere. "I can't feel the same, can't feel same" croons Matt on single Streetcar, while more brutally "Killing me might be the only chance you have of recovery!" on the end of nothing, and romantically on closer Alvarez "The stars will be your nightlight tonight and I will be your lullaby."
This is the first time in a while where a second album excites me so much to the oncoming prospect of further releases. While usually I fear further downfall, or wonder how they will keep the same quality, with Funeral for a friend I see a band so soaked in talent that pretty much cannot fail to produce brilliant music for years to come. It's a good thing they have their whole lives ahead of them.