Funeral For A Friend have never been a great band in many regards. Their blend of post-hardcore with pop-punk relies heavily on over used ideas and lyrics; they fuse together music that is mostly forgettable and stagnant. In a genre that mimics itself with tired acts and lazy musicianship, Funeral For A Freind are basically a lost cause. For one album however, one career defining exposition, FFAF reveal themselves to the world as heartfelt as they possibly can. That album is Hours
. Drenched in melody and passionate vocals, Hours
is the album that will act as a beacon for Funeral For A Friend's rather dark career.
Involving less screaming and harshness this time around, Hours
delves into a more personal and sensitive realm for the band and the result sounds like Funeral For A Friend are finally in their comfort zone. Almost everything is toned down which makes the band sound like they aren't trying too hard to please and impress. Sure, there is the occasional slight burst; "Roses For The Dead" begins with a fairly decent riff that contunes over soulful vocals and heavy drumming until the chorus comes in and begs you to jump. "Alvarez" starts off in the same vein and contines to pound along melodical shifts. It can all get samey at times especially if listening to the album in full, but thankfully the two tracks are separated by most of the album.
Considering that most of Hours
run time involves slow ballad type tracks, "Drive" and "History" are especially amazing seeing that they are surrounded by similar songs yet stick out like two sore thumbs. Make no mistake about it; these are two of the best tracks the band has ever recorded. "Drive" is incredible; simply written yet almost overwhelmingly sad and powerful, the 2nd verse of So tell your father that/that you're mine/and I swear we'll run away/and I'll make a plan and save/everyone from themselves/put them in the ground
comes off genuine and vital to the album's heartbeat. The song repeats itself in easy verse/chorus/verse/chorus terms until thumping drums and beautiful guitars gently push the song off into an entirely different existence before being sent back down to earth with one final chorus. "History" is easily likeable and smooth in its execution, with an extremely catchy singalong chorus to boot. "History" has vocals that beg to be stuck in your head for weeks. The effect is emotional and the song never has a weak point. Funeral For A Friend have no problem creating wonderful melodies, it's that they can't perform it on a consistent enough basis. "Monster" has the unfortunate problem of being stuck between these two fantastic songs and suffers from droning on in emo nonsense.
Despite its inconsistency, Hours
holds much of Funeral For A Friend's best work to date and probably forever. Its calm, harmonius (despite most of the lyrics), and marks a change in the band's style up to this point and moving forward. Every teenager shouldn't be without this album in the past decade; it will really hold a certain place in your heart.