Review Summary: Overall, this is a very strong debut for the band, but not perhaps as strong as its follow up, Four Ways To Scream Your Name. 2 great songs, one pretty damn good song, and one disapointingly poor song make it a positive, but not essential addition to your
This was one of, if not the first, recordings that Funeral For A Friend released. It's quite rare nowadays, but you can get it from shops like HMV and Virgin in England, or if you look on Ebay.
Anyways, I'll get on with the review.
The first track, 10.45 Amsterdam Conversations, starts well with a cool strummed guitar part, before bursting into the traditional twin guitar riffs of the band. Unlike the bands' later work, this song has good portion of screaming from Darren, with him filling the verses. When it comes in, Matt's voice sounds very different here, and you can tell it's an early recording. The song itself is still very good though, with some cool riffs, and a nice lead into the chorus, which is catchy without being poppy, backed by a bouncy guitar line. The second verse is just a repeat of the first, before heading back into the chorus and then into the bridge. Matt sings very well here, and Darren's presence is very noticable compared to later songs, which is a plus if you liked FFAF's heavy side. The song ends with quite a random but cool high pitched riff.
Up next is Juno, which you will probably know as Juneau from Casually Dressed, but this song is a very different animal. The prodcution on this song is much more raw then its later incarnation, a plus in my opinon. Also noticable is the presence of Darren's screaming, which was removed from the album recording, but works very well here. As a song, it has a really cool stop start rythm, and goes against the normal verse/chorus structure which is refreshing. There's some nice guitar work, but Darren's screaming does sound very forced and strained at part. The end, which increases the tempo, gives it a nice lift.
Red Is The New Black is another song you might know from Casually Dressed. I wasn't a fan when I first heard it on that album, and this earlier version isn't much better- in fact it's rawer production makes it sound amateurish. It starts with a fairly boring guitar riff and Matt singing over the top, and like Juno, Darren's screaming seems undeveloped, being forced and strained. The chorus is uplifting, but this song just never did much for me to begin with.
The Art Of American Football starts with one of FFAF's most metal riffs, and some nice percussion from Darren building up the intro. This is a distinctly heavier song, with a blast beat, and shouting vocals from both singers. Matt sings some nice melodies over the top, but the '*** them, *** us' line sounds amusing now we all now that Matt Davies is in no way a rebel. The song is one of the few FFAF tracks that has a solo, but it's nothing that special. A cool song, but not classic.