Funeral For A Friend

It’s difficult to review any musical form at the minute. The weathers dull (coldest October for 70 years apparently), the Christmas poverty is only around the corner and Kings Of Leon’s 'Only By The Night' has been superglued (metaphor) to my CD player, and also yours no doubt.

Arguably one of the UK’s most successful rock acts, FFAF have built up a pretty cushty resume prior to their eagerly anticipated fourth studio release, generating three gold selling albums and an awesome nine top 20 singles. Hence why this emo fivesome could turn the tables on the current state of climate and season with this one. Since 'Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation' the Welsh boys have (if we are being brutally honest here) struggled to produce anything of the same standard. 'Hours' provided glimpses of prior success but 'Tales Don’t Tell Themselves' failed to recapture the electrifying emo driven early Funeral For A Friend, despite the army of fans continuous loyalty (myself included).

Therefore… when I received the new release, a huge sigh of relief entered the atmosphere. In professional Alexisonfire 'Crisis' style, the Welsh lads have managed to turn this one right on its head and evoke the fresh funky sound that captured the hearts of emo rock music fans all over the planet in the first place.

The album opens up with four fantastically produced pieces of music, which elegantly whiz by. 'Constant Illumination' brings back to the ground the raw sophisticated sound of early FFAF, if not in fact heavier than preceded material. It’s mature, unmarked and brilliant. 'Kicking And Screaming', the first single released on the 29th September hints at commercial rock but surrounded by 'Rules And Games' and 'To Die Like Mouchette', the Welsh rockstars can be forgiven for grasping tightly onto their 14year old followers and radio one listeners.

'You Can’t See The Forest For The Wolves' reminisces once more, providing a clear insight into the melodic ambiance and manages to seamlessly supply relevance to the now industry. Structurally this track is potentially the best on the album and will go down a treat at gigs nationwide.

Other highlights such as 'Building' are much more reflective and unhurried- solemn and emotive; however we all know we wouldn’t have a FFAF album without it and the record offers a clearer glance at the new work produced by Dodangoda at Longwave Studios in Cardiff.

It’s not the longest album they have ever released, but capitalizes on short, swift emotions and, more so than not excellent tracks. The unity in this record, evident from the start is much stronger than that of the previous two- apparent almost immediately. A fresh emo rock record I look forward to catching at festivals throughout the summer.