Casually dressed and deep in conversation released in 2003 was Ffaf's real big shot singles such as 'bullet therory' and 'juneau' really pushed up the bar for emo punk of today. So it is no wonder then that acclaim for Ffaf's second full length studio offering was so high, Kerrang! labelled it as a 'potential masterpiece'. Once 'Hours' was realeased it was snapped up by eager fans only to find that there was (whisper it) no screamo on the album. Not that hours is particulary bad album. in fact it is very good.
1.All the rage.
One way to start an album is with a build up of guitar which flings into a drum solo and a killer riff. All the rage also has some of the best lyrics ever in its first verse. "who was it that said great things come to great men?/cos that fu**** lied to us/ there's nothing here by the wasteland/but i can still see the garves of the dead." One of the techniques Ffaf incorporate in this album is the use of a guitar solo in the chorus, this is one of the songs that takes it. The chorus itself is a really good opertunity to throw in some emo screaming but Matt Davies keeps it clean. Damn. The song ends really abruptly, just when you think it's going to go through another verse it just stops dead. " there's nothing here by the wasteland, there's nothing here."
The first single from the album. Streetcar starts with a phone ringing, it rings twice and then the guitar starts up playing a simple chord riff over the phone. About three rings later someone picks it up "hello?" (this is actually sounds worringly like my friends mum) Matt Davies kicks off the song with "there goes the rub." while the simple plays in the background. This one of the poppiest and easiest songs on the album and it's good fun to listen to. The guitar solo returns in the chorus, it actually sounds pretty much the same as the one in 'all the rage,' Halfway through there's a really cool bass part while to people say "i can't feel the same way about you anymore" over the top, the video has girls beating up boys in it and also stars the girl from the front of the album sleeve. (the one with a bullet proof vest and knuckle dusters.)
3.Roses for the dead.
This is a really good song, it starts with a riff that sounds very similar to 'all the rage' and just like the first song has some great lyrics "we'll start the hours now/we're all suckers for tragedies/we'll start this over again/and you bring us to our knees." The chorus is really powerful and just consists mainly of power chords before going into a really powerful section (more guitar soloing) Matt Davies does an excellent job of conveying emotion on this song near the end especially, he croons "You look just like you Mother/and you look just like your Father." It's really emotional and makes Ffaf sound like they've really grown up. Especially as the guitars solo away in the background.
This is a really dark song about death basically, it starts really mellow and slow then goes into a slow first verse, after this it pulls into a heavy riff and ultimeatly into the chorus which is really fast and pacy, "turn off this machine/because its the only thing keeping me alive./pull the switch/see my body twitch." croons Davies in the high uncharacteristic voice he has throughout Hours, the song just continues with a similar guitar rif while the lyrics continue to represent death, towards the end another guitar solo kicks in and carries right through to the end before the song fades out slowly.
it starts with a caar engine and pulls into a bass occupied mellow tune, the bass is really good in this song and is the only song on the album where you can really notice it. The chorus is uplifting but quite chilling at the same time. Slowly as it gets longer the songs pace increases and is quite reminiscent of Muses 'inintended' and really gets going towards the end the chorus slowly gets louder and louder each time. "this could be a movie/this could be our final act/we don't need these happy endings."
The second single, Monsters starts which a kick ass drum beat which mainly consists of rided and sanare before it kicks into a really dark riff, the pace of the verses is fantastic. The best bit of the song are the ends of the verses were it goes into the chorus because the words speed up and become louder and Matt Davies really yells the last line, not in an emo way. The music in the chorus is pretty basic stuff just chords but it sounds fantastic, quite a lot like Ffaf's 'bullet thereoy' after the second chorus there is a quiet bit. "every animal will find itself a hole/and every man and woman well they'll just lose control/No/ I have this to myself." Again Davies really yells the last line before it blows back into the chorus, then that dark riff starts up again. Great stuff. The best song on the album.
A third single, history is ridiculously uplifting and mellow, yet is still filled with some really dark lyrics "Romeo is bleeding to death." which are only contrasted by some beautiful lyrics later on "I don't care for your sweet scent or the way you want me more than I want you." The chorus is particulary dramatic and sounds quite a lot like Sum 41's 'Pieces' The last chorus has the whole band singing along and it sounds fantastic.
8.The end of nothing
After all that mellow-ness on History, End of nothing contrasts very nicely it is very pacy and has what are probably the best lyrics on the album in it. "This tree is dead and cold/this house is not a home/help me I'm dying here alone." "Forever in one word/Forever is the longest time/but it's the only cure I'm not sure I'll survive." The guitar solo chorus returns along with the pace. Other than that it does sound like the rest of the album and like most other songs sounds a lot like all the rage. Still it is one of the best songs on the album.
It starts with a really old skool riff that sounds like it has been taken out of a Sabbath song. It has the only emo in the whole album on it, near the end of the first verse there is a bit in the background and also towards the end there is quite a bit, but it is faded and not very loud. Other than that there is little to seperate this from the rest of the album. It kind of reminds me of a My Chemical Romance song because of the chorus lyrics, "The light feels good against/the bruises on your cheek." Even though it sounds like the rest of the album there really isn't much out there right that sounds like Ffaf,
Another reasonably heavy song starts with a killer riff before kicking into a huge verse that sounds fantastic. This is quite a long song about 4:16. The lead guitar is quite persistant throughout Alverez, Matt Davies maintains quite a mayor voice throughout which basically means he sounds happy and upbeat while in Casually dressed... he was singing more in minor which is darker. There isn't anything particulary outstanding about this song really, it just fades into the rest of the album nicely.
This is the only really really differnt song on this album it starts with a sample that sounds quite a lot like some sort of mellow drum and bass before Davies starts singing, when the lead guitar comes in it begins to get quite emotional as Davies groans. In general it is quite a depressing song in comparison to History or Drive. Sonny gets quite repetitive after a while. The second guitar kicks in towards the end which is awesome. But it's alll quite downbeat and slow overall.
So there's Hours, I have some minor quarells with it (lack of emo, persistant use of major lead guitar.) Overall it is a quality experience well worth the pounds. At times it isn't dark enough and you're willing it on to really scream at you. Ffaf have definetly matured, whether or not their old fans love it or not really doesn't matter.