Funeral for a Friend
Tales Don't Tell Themselves


4.0
excellent

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
May 29th, 2008 | 35 replies | 7,280 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A more melodic alt-rock feel will see the band lose some fans & be accused of selling out, but good music is good music and there is simply no filler on this very much recommended album.

When writing opinion pieces, there is the occasional instance when one simply has to stand their ground, no matter how large the (pardon the nautical pun) tidal wave against you is. In my situation, these instances usually come with bands of a certain genre refining their sound into one which is more accessible to the mainstream. Does this make an album immediately average? I think not, simply different to before and, maybe more importantly, different to what fans of the band expect. To a lot of longtime (and some casual) fans, this will usually mean that the terribly faddy and overused term of “selling out” will be brought up. At the end of the day, good music is good music… Simple as that! ‘Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’, the 3rd album by Welsh band Funeral For A Friend, is definitely an example of this.

For a musical group that has only existed for 6 years, Funeral For A Friend (FFAF) sure have reinvented themselves throughout their lifetime. While their early EPs and debut album literally screamed post-hardcore, the band has cut down on their rougher edges with each passing album, resulting in a more melodic alternative-rock feel. While the group has had a little mainstream success, especially in the United Kingdom, they have not been super successful. The main reason for this is that for the most part they do not rely on strong and catchy choruses, instead choosing to concentrate more on their music. With this album however, FFAF appear to have purposefully aimed for more of a balance between the 2 aspects.

I have never been a great fan of an album beginning with its best track. That occurs here, but there may be some method to the choice of ‘Into Oblivion (Reunion)’ as the opener. It’s a clear statement that is quite simply the best single of the band’s entire catalogue. Furthermore, it sums up the album very well; Accessible & melodic rock with a lush sound that makes good use of guitars. It’s also catchy and memorable which is something the band have lacked in the past. Another reason for this song’s placement as the first track could arguably be from a lyrical standpoint. You see, this album is one of the growing number of concept albums flooding the market these days. It has a nautical theme and tells the story of a fisherman shipwrecked out at sea after being ravaged by a storm. It is a gimmick that admittedly has its pros & cons. The main pros being band focus & potential listener involvement, while the main con is repetition (especially lyrically).

A further reason for the placement of the best track and 1st single as the album’s opener is for structure purposes. This is because it is arguable that the other standouts from this LP are its accompanying bookend at the end of the “tale”, as well as the 2 track mid-album break of sorts. Following 3 radio-friendly pop-rock sing-alongs that all stand well enough on their own occupying the spots of tracks 2 to 4, we get what is the first part of the ‘All Hands On Deck’ duo. This is sub-titled ‘Raise The Sail’ and is a terrific up-tempo rocker that is turned on its head with a super effective string arrangement. The 2nd half (track 6) sub-titled ‘Open Water’ is a little less effective in isolation, but flows well from the previous track, while also foreshadowing the rockier vibe that is to come with the next couple of songs. In fact, the following track, ‘Out Of Reach’ is easily the closest thing to the band’s hardcore past, but the fact that it remains accessible is a credit to the band.

When the poppy and catchy 2nd single ‘Walk Away’ floats on by as the penultimate track of the album, it is easy to think that FFAF may be out of tricks, as it is the most straight-forward song on the album. However, that cannot be further from the truth due to the amazing six and a half minute closer ‘The Sweetest Wave’. Beginning methodically with piano, emotional vocals and atmospheric bass, it uses an orchestral arrangement to build up to a gorgeous and grandiose crescendo that isn’t afraid to rock things up with guitar to match the strings. Very ambitious, this track really is a terrific summation of the album as a whole and is a statement that Funeral For A Friend have no boundaries and can achieve anything they set their mind to musically!

If I was to state the main reason for my like of this album, it would simply be that there is no filler. While some tracks obviously stand above others, it would not surprise to see any of the 10 songs released as a single. For that reason, and also due to the perception of some repetition, the band was wise in keeping the LP at 10 tracks (totaling 41 minutes).

While the intricate layers of the dual guitar attack from earlier recordings is not as prevalent here, the under-rated guitar playing of Kris Coombs-Roberts is still what drives most songs. The use of orchestral arrangements on some tracks more than make up for any steps back in the sound department, while lead vocalist Matt Davies has adapted sufficiently to the more melodic tunes and can hopefully improve even further on future efforts. Very much recommended, Funeral For A Friends’ “Tales Don’t Tell Themselves” is an album full of quality songs that should appeal to a rather large audience. It’s just a matter of that audience knowing the band exists in the first place.

Recommended Tracks: Into Oblivion (Reunion), The Sweetest Wave, All Hands On Deck: Raise The Sail & The Great Wide Open.



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user ratings (407)
Chart.
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other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Bleak123
December 4th 2008



1902 Comments


pos to make up for the unnecessary neg

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I think we can call that a 'Pity Pos', but thanks anyway Kane.

marksellsuswallets
December 4th 2008



4848 Comments


Yeah man I mean good review and stuff yeah breh cool...
What the heck did this used to have comments or did this review just get no love?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Go the 'Pity Pos'.
Brent, this review was a repost. I had initially posted it in March (where it got views, comments & the like) & then the infamous May database crash occurred and I reposted about 20 odd reviews in the space of a week. This was one of them.

Bleak123
December 4th 2008



1902 Comments


it's a good review so it deserved it man
i don't do pity

marksellsuswallets
December 4th 2008



4848 Comments


Yeah I didn't pity pos either Davey haha
I haven't listened to this album, and since most FFAF fans don't even like it, and I'm not that in to them anyway, I don't think I will

Bleak123
December 4th 2008



1902 Comments


it's pretty bad, no offence ofc davey

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You guys should put that on your business cards:
Name
"I Don't Do Pity"
No offence taken Kane.


Bleak123
December 4th 2008



1902 Comments


what kind of business would we be involved in? killing? delivering flowers? installing toilets?

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Definitely Pulp Fiction like hitmen. You can arm-wrestle each other to decide who is Travolta and who is Samuel L.

marksellsuswallets
December 4th 2008



4848 Comments


Or male prostitutes...


DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
December 4th 2008



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Hahaha. I can just picture a fat chick walking up to Brent and then immediately turning around as he pulls out the card which declares "I Don't Do Pity".

NEVERfade
September 9th 2010



376 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Summary: A more melodic alt-rock feel will see the band lose some fans & be accused of selling out, but good music is good music and there is simply no filler on this very much recommended album.

Thats a great Summary and I agree with it 100%

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm glad someone agrees with it, because we're way in the minority on this one.

JWT155
September 9th 2010



9210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

After listening and absolutely loving their new EP I'm gonna go through their discog. right now. Album
is all right but just a huge disappointment compared to Hours for me when this came out.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010



30904 Comments


I remember our discussion regarding this album

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 9th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

MainstreameyBoy.

JWT155
September 15th 2010



9210 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Have you checked out the new EP Davey? I really like it.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
September 15th 2010



20855 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yeah, I have Jim. I like it... It's hard-hitting in a good way (especially 2 of the tracks)... I'm still unsure if they've got the mix right though. They can be more catchy in a hard-hitting way if they want to.

Mordecai.
September 15th 2010



8271 Comments


my least favourite ffaf release. review the new ep daveyboy



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