For anyone who dared to call themselves ‘emo’ in 2005, Funeral For A Friend most likely ring a bell. The band’s first two albums Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation (2003) and Hours (2005) made the biggest impact, and still have some of the most recognised album artwork to this day. Funeral For A Friend’s cult-like fanbase made the Welsh quartet one of the biggest faces in alternative rock at the time, but how well does emo fair in 2015?
On their new album Chapter and Verse which is due out on Monday, the band are seemingly all set to carry on with what they know. ‘Stand By Me For The Millionth Time’ opens things up with a bone-shaking bass line and an incredible guitar riff which will no doubt appeal to anyone who still consider bands like Finch and From First To Last their favourites. It might not be anything new; pioneering, but fans will take comfort in knowing that Funeral For A Friend are creating music the same way they always have.
Singles ‘You’ve Got A Bad Case Of The Religions’, ‘1%’ and the most recent, ‘Pencil Pusher’ were chosen to lead the album for a reason, and it could easily because of how solid they are. Well-written, and crowd-pleasing in the case of ‘1%’ which was performed for the first time during Funeral For A Friend’s 2014 tour, these are the songs that will give you a good insight in to what Chapter and Verse is all about.
On the other hand, however, there are some true gems among the rest of the album. ‘After All These Years… Like A Lightbulb Going Off In My Head’ is heavy, in your face, and likely to incite a riot… or at the very least, a mosh pit. In contrast, ‘Brother’ is acoustic and therefore a lot more personal, but still has that injection of raw Funeral For A Friend talent. It’s still very them, despite taking a backseat from the hardcore that they’re used to and so does all it can to show off the band’s ability to change things up.
Rounded off with ‘Donny’, and then ‘The Jade Tree Years Were My Best’, upon listening its clear that these were songs were practically made for giving the album the most phenomenal of exits. American bands may think they have the upper hand when it comes to post-hardcore, but when presented with such stellar material like Chapter and Verse, it really is a close call. With almost 15 years together, Funeral For A Friend know what works for them. They’ll carry on as long as there’s still people listening, and with material as impressive as this that’ll likely be for a very long time still.