Singer Matt Davies-Kreye claims Funeral For A Friend’s fifth album is about “the idea of patiently waiting for the end of the world to arrive at your doorstep and give you a nice big hug”.
It’s a mixed metaphor for sure, but as Front Row Seats To The End Of The World shows, there remains two such conflicting sides to FFAF – often in the same song; on one hand the roaring screamo verses, on the other slick radio-friendly choruses.
There’s little suggestion that Funeral are British, such is the influence of – or maybe reliance on – melodic US punk as a template, especially on such songs as Old Hymns or lead single Sixteen, which recalls the mid-80s proto-emo of Dag Nasty. There’s no doubting they can write anthems strong enough to soundtrack anyone’s adolescence, and the galloping Spinning Over The Island shows they can be ferocious.
But they can’t helping heaping on the sugar, which means there’s not a great deal to distinguish FFAF from the many post-hardcore bands that are a little too slick and safe to offer much in the way of danger, experimentation or indeed surprises.