Funeral For A Friend

Chapter And Verse

Written by: TL on 23/01/2015 18:19:09

Once the most important British band in the emocore movement, with the freshly released "Chapter And Verse", Welsh quartet Funeral For A Friend are now seven albums in. The band's career has at times seemed like one long identity-crisis, having been to mainstream rock and back, with members coming and going along the way, yet with "Chapter And Verse" the band seems content to further explore the humble melodic hardcore niche they went back to on 2013's "Conduit". Vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreyes no longer seems interested to push his voice to sound cleaner than it is, rather belting in urgent, Comeback Kid-like, semi-melodic style, and the production has a close, minimalist feel to it, sounding like you were standing in a room listening to the instruments being recorded, prior to any polish or processing being applied.

This is cool, because while FFAF may have decided to go with the directness of a hardcore punk songwriting approach, they mostly cannot help but to bring their trademark nostalgic melodiousness into the mix. So while you get an all out rager like "Modern Excuse For A Man", which opens at high speed and sounds a bit like CBK's "The Concept Says", you also get more dynamic, quiet/loud style tracks, such as the highlight "1%", in which you really feel the regret in Davies' melodies, as well as a bit of both in a blazing song like "Donny", which is off to the races tempo-wise, yet retains the band's feel in the anthemic chorus "Do you feel the need, like I feel the need, to feel love?"

Overall, Davies' lyrics are as direct as the musical approach, and in songs like the otherwise catchy "You've Got A Bad Case Of The Religions" or "You Should Be Ashamed Of Yourself", he comes off a bit like some bitter dude who likes starting arguments on the internet, and there's no time for eloquence in lines such as "Born with a dick, it doesn't mean I'm a misogynist!". Those that agree with his points are unlikely to mind of course, but songs like "Donny" and "The Jade Tree Years Were My Best" (which sends a nod to one of emo's most crucial record labels), are a bit more relateable in how they keep things more personal and less preachy, yet opinionated lyricism is of course merely in line with the hardcore ideals that the band is working back towards.

Overall though, the album feels more conceptually clean and accomplished than "Conduit" did, and it has welcoming highlights spread out a bit more generously across its length. That being said, when comparing it to an ideal, to-the-point burst of a hardcore record (see Xerxes' recent "Collision Blonde" for an example), it is perhaps a bit too long, even at only twelve tracks and 37 minutes. A song like the acoustic "Brother" seems thrown in simply for the sake of being an unnecessary change of pace, and a couple of the songs that have not been mentioned could perhaps have been left out, with a sequence of higher intensity being maintained through the ones that were. That being said though "Chapter And Verse" is overall a surprisingly pleasant listen, especially considering how dodgy it has felt trying to know what to expect of Funeral For A Friend this far into their somewhat uneven career.

Download: 1%, You've Got A Bad Case Of The Religions, Donny, Inequality
For The Fans Of: Comeback Kid, Gallows, Evergreen Terrace, Silverstein

Release date 19.01.2015
Distiller / Roadrunner

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