Funeral For A Friend-Conduit
Legends of the scene, emotional rock, British music in general. It's amazing to think that Funeral For A Friend are now influential musical godfathers to so many, being well over ten years into their career. Following the rollercoaster of success, changes, backlash and triumph that those years have brought, Conduit, their sixth full-length, arrives as a celebration of both their band and the music they've grown up loving.
The record is a lean, riot-starting, firework of a collection that puts its finger up to convention, the mainstream and industry pressure and simultaneously embodies a flying high-five to the Funeral that broke onto the scene in 2002 and a love letter to pure, unpretentious, table-flipping hardcore that the five members love so much, live and breathe. It's an album with the highest degree of honesty and the complete shunning of arrogance and as a result is one of the best you'll hear this year.
Powered by thunderous new drummer Pat Lundy (ex-Rise To Remain) the album is a tour de force in genuine and invigorating emotional hardcore and such that you just know frontman Matt Davies-Kreye (one of Britain's best) means every single word he roars right from the back of the throat. Openers Spine and the title-track punch you round the face in a way that's so quick and to the point that you're on the floor not knowing quite what's happened, Davies-Kreye's convictions of "I remember when we used to be so casual" (perhaps a subtle nod to their classic debut Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation) link into pervasive lyrical themes of why this band do and have always done what they have in terms of emotional resonance and connection and it just sounds right. Lead single Best Friends And Hospital Beds packs a classic monstrous FFAF chorus before the brilliant Nails throws a slight curveball and mixes these classic elements with a breathlessly cathartic outro from Davies-Kreye, reminding of the likes of Boysetsfire and Strife, while Kris Coombs-Roberts and Gavin Burrough's towering riffs spiral and crash behind him. The latter hit with the blunt force of a furious hurricane at the beginning of Death Comes To Us All and the Gameface meets Snapcase vibes of the mighty Travelled rank among the band's very best material.
The whole album feels like the soundtrack to both forward flipping off a balcony and inescapably crying due to sheer emotional force at a rock show, it brings both the swirl of the circle pits and the emotion of treasured musical memory. Finishing up on High Castles the band formidably include ex-drummer Ryan Richards long-loved screaming vocals before Davies-Kreye screams "fist by fist!" as everything fades out behind him with so much force that you're surprised the hi-fi doesn't go flying across the room.
Conduit is a celebration of all things Funeral For A Friend and of music itself from one of Britain's most important and influential bands, get this record and savour their legacy.