Funeral For A Friend – Conduit
- By Chris Jefferies -
- Jan 25, 2013
Funeral For A Friend do have more than one register. But listening to their sixth studio album ‘Conduit’, you could be forgiven for thinking that they don’t.
With only 40% of the original line-up still intact (singer Matt Davies-Kreye and lead guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts), much of what made them seem like one of the UK’s most exciting emo-core prospects ten years ago has evaporated. Conduit is a fairly repetitious album which feels short on inspiration and bustles along for 29 minutes with barely any variation from the distortion-drenched guitars or the relentlessly angst-ridden vocals.
As a case in point, the only track that sticks around for more three-and-a-half minutes (the raucous finale of ‘High Castles’) was released fourteen months ago as part of their ‘See You All In Hell’ EP.
Indeed this song is the only one to feature a memorable sing-along, in the form of the guttural refrain: “Our words are weapons / They are our shield”.
The band’s newest recruit, former Rise To Remain drummer Pat Lundy, puts in an accomplished and energetic shift behind the kit, but the overall tempo never varies to any appreciable degree.
The syncopated rhythms and technical guitar licks that used to characterise FFAF are still present in patches, with ‘Elements’ and ‘Best Friends And Hospital Beds’ providing a couple of high points.
However, it is the latest single ‘The Distance’ which probably best sums up where the Welsh quintet are in 2013: a formulaic two-minute thump-along, which speaks of their relentless touring schedule as a badge of pride.
And it’s particularly telling that Davies-Kreye feels the need to roll out the old adage: “age is nothing but a number” – a lyric that would be more fitting for a 72-year-old Tom Jones, rather than a singer who is still in his early thirties.
With their constant reinventions, it’s clear that Funeral For A Friend are searching for a way to secure true longevity, but it’s hard to escape the conclusion that this world-weary and largely homogenous album is a step in the wrong direction.
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