Felt compelled to write a few pence after seeing a post on my timeline earlier today, so apologies for the stream of conciousness babble.
Funeral For A Friend have decided to call it a day. Deep within me somewhere, the 19 year old me is quite sad at this news as back then they were my favourite band. I still remember buying their debut album, Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation back in 2003 (time has ravaged me) and playing it to death. My worn and tattered copy still exists and currently sits in front of me – the battered booklet lying open but it doesn’t need to be, as I know every damn word that vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye and former drummer, Ryan Richards are singing/screaming at me.
Do you know what, it still holds up. From the melodic punk rock jam of Bend Your Arms To Look Like Wings, the dual-vocal rage of the disjointed She Drove Me To Daytime Television, the riff-heavy post-hardcore spit of final track Novella and of course their anthem, the enigmatic, emotional wrought of a damaged relationship that is Juneau, this was an album that truly held a special place and perhaps still does.
What I also find fascinating, is the 3 singles I bought (for Juneau, Bullet Theory/She Drove Me To Daytime Television and Escape Artists Never Die) still have pride of place in my record collection. I bought them, as they had some rare b-sides; The Getaway Plan and a Radio 1 session of Kiss And Make Up (All Bets Are Off) both featured on the Juneau single. The Bullet Theory/Daytime Television double A-side had a Far cover of The System on it and Escape Artists had You Want Romance? (a fucking BRILLIANT song, see the video below) and 10 Scene Points To The Winner.
I also still have my gig ticket from seeing them at the Junction back in October of 2003, where they were supported by Million Dead (who absolutely incredible; I remember they finished with The Rise and Fall) and Read Yellow.
I remember buying their second album, Hours, just after I’d finished my last year of University and thoroughly enjoying the more melodic pathway that took – Roses for the Dead, Monsters and Sonny all stand-out tracks. Conduit as well (see review) piqued my interest – packed with short, punchy hardcore-punk songs in the vein of boysetsfire made it an absolute blast, despite the sonic differences from the material they released from 2007-2011.
Anyway, not sure what I’m saying here. Somewhat interested in the final shows they’ll be doing in 2016 – find out all the info on this Facebook post (the band will be playing Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation and Hours in full over two nights, plus songs from other albums and EPs). I saw them back in May this year at Camden Rocks – I was drunk as hell, mind. Vaguely remember them playing Escape Artists at one point. Here’s me in the pit. Ruined.
Anyway, *raises glass* cheers lads – here’s seven essential Funeral For A Friend tracks for you to enjoy.
This Year’s Most Open Heartbreak (Taken from Four Ways To Scream Your Name EP)
Still holds the title for the most emo song title ever. Packed with great one liners for you to write on your pencil case as well! See: “JUST LIKE YOUR BROKEN RECORDS! (YOU’RE BRRROOOKKKEEEENNN!”) and of course “WE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME! SAME OLD SONGS ON A BRAND NEW STEREO!” – there’s got to be some 33 year old with that inked on their arm somewhere.
You Want Romance? (Taken from the Escape Artists Never Die single)
This looks like it was uploaded on a Nokia 3210. Jesus wept. Anyway, bit of a banger this one – immediately in your face, intense, good balance of screaming between Matt and Ryan. Also, it continues the theme of having the bag-faced people, from Bullet Theory and the acoustic version of Juneau.
Escape Artists Never Die (Taken from Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation)
I’ve wrote that fucking song title out so many times now. Quite like Matt’s floppy hair in this vid and Ryan’s Britney Spears’ microphone. LADS. Actually, don’t watch this, because it’s not the full version with the big crunching outro and this again sounds like it was fed through a dustbin during a storm.
Monsters (Taken from Hours)
Chose this because it’s a short song and album title. Joking. This is my favourite track off of Hours – melodic as hell; they’ll never write anything quite as chunky and as Jimmy Eat World-esque as this. Good hair as well.
Bullet Theory (Taken from Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation)
Probably the best video they ever did this. People with bags on their heads, finger as a gun, bit of digging. Plus, the song itself is quite different from their usual material – Matt more or less shouts his lyrics rather than traditionally singing and the grainy guitar fuzz and overload of breakdowns are all pure post-hardcore to the max.
The Distance (Taken from Conduit)
Pop-hardcore executed perfectly in under 2 and half minutes. In fact, nearly all of Conduit is up to this standard, but it’s Matt’s impassioned shout near the end that clinches it, plus Pat Lundy’s huge drum beats, which are blisteringly heavy and smothering. Good job.
Juneau (Taken from Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation)
AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. AND I’M NOTHING MORE THAN A LINE IN YOUR BOOK. (Audio version only as the actual video audio is unbelievably shit).