Funeral for a Friend
The Great Wide Open


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
February 27th, 2008 | 12 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Whether this album was released for nostalgia or as kind of an apology to the fans, the end result is the same... better sounding, heavier versions of the songs on their first two EPs that is well worth seeking out.

I used to like Funeral For a Friend back before they released Tales Don’t Tell Themselves. They were an interesting band that mixed Hardcore and Metal with above-average musicianship for the style of music that they play, but then it all was flushed away. Tales found them entering the over-saturated world of mainstream alternative rock, and releasing a safe and unoriginal offering. Fast-forward a brief period and now they are releasing this EP which features the third single off of the new album as well as live versions of the songs from their first two EP’s.

For some, this album is less about the music and more about what it potentially represents. After hearing about this album people hoped that maybe it meant that the band realized that they had gone too far with the last release and that this could almost be seen as an apology. I’d like to think that as well, but I’m sure that this is nothing more then a bit of nostalgia on the band’s part and nothing more. Whether it is an acknowledgement of a misstep or simple nostalgia, the question still remains: Is this worth getting, especially if you already have the two EPs in question? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

I’m not going to waste a lot of time on the opening track which is simply the song, “The Great Wide Open”, from the new album. For me, it is the best track on that album, but that’s not really saying much. The real meat of the album comes in the form of the live tracks, and they really are awesome. I was afraid that the band might possibly water these songs down to accommodate their new direction, but that isn’t the case at all. Actually, due to the much improved sound, and the nature of most live albums, these live versions are actually heavier and more energetic then the originals.

Within a few seconds of the second track, “Amsterdam Conversations”, it is readily apparent that the guitars have a much heavier and fuller sound then on either of the EPs (and even their first full-length). In addition, both vocalists have improved immensely since the days of these EPs. The clean singing is much less whiny and much more forceful, and the screaming is the most aggressive I’ve heard from this band, and is, in fact, used more then in the originals. That right there would be enough for most fans to pick this up, but there are more reasons.

The sound on this album could be flawless, but it wouldn’t make any difference if the playing was crap or sloppy, but the playing is tight. The leads and melodies are recreated effortlessly, and have more of an edge since they aren’t layered and not as thin as on the original recordings. Also, the drums seem to be more aggressive and make more use of the double bass then the originals, but I could be wrong here and just noticing it due to the improved sound quality. Another thing I like is that the vocalist doesn’t waste a lot of time with in-between song banter and the few things he does say are either slightly amusing or at least not cliché rock concert phrases, and it shows that the band were definitely having fun here.

My only complaint with this recording is that they do let the crowd sing the songs a little more often then I would like (which would be to not hear them sing at all). Seriously, if I wanted to hear drunken English people sing rock songs I’d watch Oasis on Youtube. It’s not a major complaint, but it’s the only one I have and I felt the need to whine about something. Other then that one minor thing, this album would be a great addition for anyone who likes anything other then the band’s latest album; even if you already own the originals. The sound is better, the vibe is heavy and fun and it may be the last quality release that these guys ever put out, and if those things aren’t enough to get you to check this out, then you probably never liked them to begin with.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
February 27th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I didn't waste a lot of time on the actual musical style on this album since it is going to appeal to people who are already fans of the band and not someone just starting to get into them (I had originally, but it was longer then I wanted it to be).

Digging: Skrew - Universal Immolation

rasputin
February 27th 2008


14550 Comments


The review is good, however I don't really like this band.

BallsToTheWall
February 27th 2008


44606 Comments


Me neither. I agree though, pretty solid review. I ended watching thse guys in 06, Taste Of Chaos. They opened and I wasn't really impressed. Fortunately Deftones and Thrice were on the bill. 7 bucks for Vheissu, woot. Clean singing is less whiny, I guess i'll have to myspace this later today.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

Willie
Moderator
February 27th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks guys... Like I kind of hinted at in the review, if you don't like this band then this album probably won't change your mind because in the end the music is the same as it always was, it's just better played and sounds better on this release.

TimeToTurnTheTide
February 27th 2008


208 Comments


"If i wanted to listen to drunk English people singing i would go on youtube and watch some Oasis"

Classic banter. the only difference would be the amount of burberry hats worn akimbo in the Oasis vid.

Liked F4af for a brief period. original EP=good so live versions will probably be worth a listen

DaveBum69
February 27th 2008


699 Comments


I wonder why there isn;t any new stuff on here, maybe the relized there new album sucks

Athom
Staff Reviewer
February 27th 2008


17222 Comments


I really dug 7 ways when it came out. maybe i should give this a listen. maybe its a sign that they are gonna start playing riffs again?

AmericnZero02
February 28th 2008


3349 Comments


^They've said that their new album will sound more like CD&DIC than any other of their albums and they are bringing back the screams.

Willie
Moderator
February 28th 2008


16049 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They've said that their new album will sound more like CD&DIC than any other of their albums and they are bringing back the screams.
If that turns out to be true, that will be awesome... so maybe this album was a little more then just for nostalgia.

Starsprophet
March 18th 2008


6 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Been a fan of these guys for awhile. They have a pretty excelent live show if you catch them on the right day. It inded is a fact that their new album will have more screams and bring bag the uber riffage of earlier releases. They posted stuff about it on their myspace a month or so ago

industrialjunkie92
June 20th 2008


167 Comments


Hated Hours, the only album I really like that they've done is "Tales Don't Tell Themselves". Everyone seems to hate it but I think it's great.

streetripper
August 11th 2008


28 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

FFAF were the first of the non-mainstream bands that i ever listened to. And ever since i have been an avid fan and have all the eps and albums. I really like the new direction thet've taken. But this live album is kick-ass, Matt Davies is pretty funny on stage, and he was exactly the same when i went to see them in Sydney in 2007. If you get a chance, get your mits on this album.



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