Review Summary: While the band has grown quite a bit since this EP, this is a great way for fans to see where it all began, and an excellent starting point for new fans. All in all, a solid, hard hitting, aggressive (yet melodic) Post-Hardcore E.P.2 of 2 thought this review was well written
Back around 2002/2003, there was a massive outbreak in Post-Hardcore bands, with loads of bands of the genre breaking through around that time, which eventually led to the genre becoming over populated with tonnes of bands that sound the same (a la Nu Metal). One of the bands that made their debt during this period was a little band from Wales known as Funeral for a Friend, and this was where their career began, with the debt E.P Between Order and Model, an E.P which still holds up pretty well today despite being a little more 'raw' then their subsequent releases.
The E.P opens with the fantastic opening track '10 45 Amsterdam Conversations', a track which opens with a bone crunching intro riff, which leads into an aggressive, screamed verse then a more melodic, sung chorus. This is a formula used a lot in Post-Hardcore, using a mix of heavy and melodic elements in the same song, and is a technique Funeral for a Friend have used in quite a few of their tracks, not just on this E.P., but in most of their albums and E.P.s that followed this one. This song in particular was the first song written by the band, and it is a great introduction to the band, also works great as an opener, not just for this E.P, but live as well.
This is followed by 'Juno', a song which was re-recorded for the bands debt album 'Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation' under the name of 'Juneau'. This version, however, is a little different to the newer version featured on the album. Apart from being rawer, this version contains more screaming and a slightly different arrangement. It's a song which fans consider to be Funeral's best song, and rightfully so IMO. This song is, like the previous track, heavy yet melodic at the same time, with the crunching guitars accompanied by both melodic vocals from vocalist Matt Davies and screams from 'aggressive vocalist' Matthew Evans (who would leave the band after this release, with drummer Ryan Richards taking over his screaming role as well as drumming). As for if I prefer this to 'Juneau' or not, I like both equally, although the screaming which wasn't present in the album version is a nice touch.
We then go into 'Red Is The New Black', another track which was re-recorded for 'Casually Dressed', and is another mighty fine track. Unlike Juno and Juneau, there is little to no difference between this version and the album version, the only real difference being that there is a guitar harmony in the album version. It's the E.P's slowest track, but that doesn't lessen it's effect in any way, with it's gut punching verses, to the melodic choruses, and closing with a bone crunching breakdown.
Finally, we close on 'The Art Of American Football', a fast, brutal bugger of a track. This is another fan favourite which is still played in their live sets today, starting with a riff which is perfect for staring a circle pit and closing with a brutal yet melodic outro containing the duel guitars of Kris Coombs-Roberts and Darran Smith. After Juno, this is my favourite track on the E.P., with it's brutally melodic riffs and a brilliant mix of Evans' screaming and Matt's more melodic vocals.
All in all, this is a solid Post-Hardcore E.P. Although this is a lot rawer then the subsequent recordings which proceeded this release, it is a great starting point for new fans getting into the band as well as for fans of the Post-Hardcore genre in general. It goes for fairly cheap on places like Amazon and Ebay (well, at least over here in the UK), so check it out if you can :D