In the cruel and unusual world of rock music, a direct positive correlation can often be seen between a band's sound becoming more accessible and the commercial success that they achieve; witness the heavily distorted bedroom-whining of Fall Out Boy's first EP and album to the universally poptastic nature of their more recent offerings and the fame, fortune and infamy that has followed. Not so with Welsh screamo 'kidults' Funeral For a Friend, whose 2003 debut album, 'Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation' garnered them not only critical acclaim but a veritable legion of tortured teen fans, who had found acceptance within a scene defined by floppy fringes and poetic screeching. Their sophomore album found the band focusing more heavily on melody, structure and decipherable lyrics, yet despite containing stronger material than their debut, 'Hours' received mixed reactions from the fans who clearly desired another blood and ink scream-fest. Following this, the band found themselves crucified by the FFAF 'purists' for the pop sheen of third album 'Tales Don't Tell Themselves', yet still not achieving that mainstream-sales crossover that such a move often accrues.
Perhaps realising that selling out no longer means selling more, FFAF have gone back to basics with a no nonsense emo-rock single taken from their latest album 'Memory and Humanity'. They employ all the tactics that made their debut such a success, including doubled-up screaming on opening verse lines and syncopating a lead guitar line with the chorus's vocal melody, creating that instantly hummable, raw anthemic quality that will appease fans, both old and new. The middle-eight is catchy, if a little predictable; lead singer Matt Davies screaming “Stay with me!” over a barrage of stuttering power chords is perhaps a plea to the teen fans that have grown up and apart from the band, shedding their teen angst in favour of day jobs, premature baldness and who are probably all tapping their feet to the latest Pete Wentz/Jay-Z collaboration by now anyway.