Review Summary: 'The Young And Defenseless' isn't just a definite return to form for the Welsh band, hopefully it's an appetizer for what's to come.
One of the most common things in music today is bands changing their sound, some bands just want to go in a new direction, while some of them are changing their sound to appeal to a bigger group of people. The first reason I mentioned is the one that doesn't really apply to many of today's artists, most change their sound to achieve more record sales(selling out). Okay, there's nothing wrong with wanting more money, everybody loves money. But do you really want to change to a sound that you don't really like and risk losing your fans, the people that have supported you and brought you to where you are today? You have to be very selfish to do that. I mean, it's about the music right?
Funeral For A Friend, along with fellow Welshmen 'Bullet For My Valentine' and 'Lostprophets', stormed onto the scene at the start of the decade. While 'Bullet' being the most successful in terms of their fanbase, FFAF brought a different style of hardcore to the music scene. Not straightforward metalcore or hard rock, but a more melodic type of post-hardcore. They released their debut album, "Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation" in 2003, and it was positively received by critics and music enthusiasts. Their sound was fresh and exciting, while some wrote them off as yet another emo band, many enjoyed their sense of energy and passion. With their third album they changed their sound, that's what the first paragraph was all about. In my honest opinion, I don't think they changed their sound to sell-out. So with their fourth album they wanted to go back to their roots, but it never really sounded the same. The energy they once had was still missing.
This is where 'The Young And Defenseless' comes in to save this sad sad story. This EP isn't just a return to form, it's an attempt to take their old sound and freshen it up a bit. I think this is the best they have sounded throughout their careers, maybe they have finally found their much sought signature style. The sound that people will remember them by. I don't know if it's just me, but I like this better than their debut. The guitar work are more technical, the screams are perfectly placed and sounds better than ever. It's pretty fast-paced, "Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don't" will not sound out of place on any punk collection album. It features brilliant guitar riffs and a massive chorus which will be stuck in your head for days after listening to it. The rougher vocals are only present on the first two tracks, "Serpents In Solitude" and "Vultures". So they do balance things up a bit. All four songs are top-notch, my favorite being the closer, "Sixteen". A catchy chorus, well-written lyrics and great guitar hooks. There's nothing to complain about. This EP left me wanting more, a full length album sounding like this will more than do.
Recommended Tracks: ALL FOUR OF THEM