Funeral for a Friend Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation 2003, Atlantic Records
Rookie of the Year
Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings
Escape Artists Never Die
Moments Forever Faded
She Drove Me to Daytime Television
Red Is the New Black
Your Revolution Is a Joke
Hailing from Brigend in Wales, post-hardcore rockers Funeral for a Friend released their first album 2 years after getting together in 2001. It went on to become one of the defining British albums of the genre.
I love the punchy guitars at the start of Rookie of the Year, this is such a great song that really sets the whole album up. Bullet Theory has another strong intro and it’s much more clearly metal influenced with a very shouty vocal. Lead single Juneau feels like a very standard emo track although despite this being gentler than the first two tracks I’m definitely getting an Iron Maiden vibe from it (Iron Maiden were a huge influence on Funeral for a Friend). Bend Your Arms to Look Like Wings rips along and the call and repeat vocal is cool. Melodic single release Escape Artists Never Die is an album highlight, a signpost to the style the band would move towards in their later albums, it’s a song that you know would be amazing live. Storytelling is another more melodic track although the drum focus is its strong point. Moments Forever Faded feels strangely sluggish and out of place in comparison to the rest of the tracks. She Drove Me to Daytime Television picks things right back up to the shouty standard standard though. Red Is the New Black is multilayered and very cool. Your Revolution Is a Joke has a delicate string start, it’s a straight ballad, a complete change of pace that jars against the rest of the album. Waking Up gets back to business though and is one of the strongest tracks. Closer Novella takes all the metal and melodic elements that have come before to create a crashing ending.
The screaming vocals are a hallmark of this album which the band toned down on subsequent releases. Although I wouldn’t really call myself a post-hardcore fan I found a lot to enjoy in the mix in this album. It really shows the class and quality of a band who are able to juxtapose styles while still retaining their overriding theme, in this case the break up of a relationship. The band and this album in particular influenced an number of other British bands including; Blood Youth, Kids in Glass Houses, We Are The Ocean, The Blackout and Fightstar.