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Funeral For A Friend - Hours (CD)

Funeral For A Friend
by Paul Chapman at 20 July 2005, 10:30 AM

It's an unusual feeling to be reviewing a band that comes from a stones throw of where I grew up in South Wales, I must admit I moved away sometime ago, around about the same time when Funeral For A Friend were just starting to make a name for themselves on the scene back home. So, in just a few short years I'm sitting at my apartment in Toronto, listening to an album by a band that had played small clubs not a couple of years back.
 Funeral For A Friend's rise has been nothing but an extraordinary one, having formed in 2001 in the sleepy valleys of South Wales, U.K. and releasing their first EP, Between Order And Model (2002)  on Mighty Atom Records ( the very same year. Funeral For A Friend have quite literally exploded on the music scene. Within months the band were singed to Infectious Records and subsequently released the Four Ways To Scream Your Name EP (2003) which included the future single She Drove Me To Daytime Television. 2003 saw the band record their first full length album, Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation (#12 in the U.K. charts) which received critical acclaim right across the board.
The single Juneau saw the band on the play lists of all the major radio stations in the U.K. They were getting featured heavily on Kerrang! T.V. and the first band to be aired on a U.K. channel called Scuzz T.V.
All of this attracted a lot of attention from various sources including  Radio 1 D.J. Zane Lowe who had the guys in to record a session for his show, no mean feat for a band that had been together for merely two years.
Another major highlight in 2003 was when the band scored a well deserved European tour with Metal heroes Iron Maiden.
Shortly after returning to familiar shores, Funeral For A Friend crossed the Atlantic again on a headline tour of the States, this time with Coheed and Cambria in tow. They then stepped up their profile by joining the ranks of the Linkin Park/Korn headed Projekt Revolution Tour.
So here we are, now it's July '05. I am holding the Hours CD which features a blonde haired school girl on the cover, dressed in the usual formal school attire apart from one thing that instantly stands out. She is wearing a bullet-proof vest and as you flick through the booklet it suddenly makes sense from the first page. She is dressed in 60's clothing then 70's etc up until today. It is a very subtle statement, I think, of what is going on in the world today.
For the recording of Hours the band decamped to Seattle, Washington, where they lived for two months with producer Terry Date, rightly famed for his work with Soundgarden, Pantera, Deftones and Limp Bizkit, at both the legendary Bad Animals studio, and Pearl Jam's own, personally-built studio.
Ok, so by now you're probably wondering well, what does the album sound like?
The first track, All the Rage starts us off with the opening lines, Why do we need this? / Who was it that said that great things come to great men? / Well that fucker lied to us / there is nothing here but a waste land / and I can still see the graves of the dead.
The heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics of  Streetcar is the first single to be released from Hours (U.K. singles Chart No #12). It follows in the same polished wave as All the Rage, as do all the tracks on this album. Roses For The Dead has some belting guitar work and a strong chorus. Hospitality and Monsters show how much the band have matured lyrically and how they have leant towards more melodic hooks than the predecessor Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation.
History is one of the album highlights with the lines Dear friends of this academy / Romeo is bleeding to death / To see a friend bleed to death what for / some kind of metaphor that I cant see / so I'll drink until I cant see it. I think it's the closest FFAF have leant towards something ballad esque.
The opening to The End Of Nothing is very Iron Maiden, riff like. The drums especially stand out on this track,  thundering the song on Alvarez. The album closer, the superb Sonny, will leave you grasping for more and more of what FFAF have to offer. There is defiantly a massive audience out there to be tapped, and with this, the second full length offering from the Welsh rockers, FFAF will have the masses kneeling at their feet.
This is one of the best releases I have heard in a long, long time. I think this album will have a permanent place in my CD player for quite a while to come.
- Album Highlights: All The Rage, Streetcar, Drive and History.

5 Star Rating

All The Rage
Roses For The Dead
The End Of Nothing
Matt Davies - Vocals
Darren Smith - Guitar
Kris Coombes Roberts - Guitar
Gareth Davies - Bass
Ryan Richardson - Drums
Record Label: Atlantic Records


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