Friday 10 September 2010

Funeral for a Friend - The Young and Defenceless EP

Review is up on Hype City.

Welsh rockers Funeral for a Friend return with an incendiary new EP, ‘The Young and Defenceless’, funded by fan contributions via PledgeMusic, a website which describes itself as “a collaboration between modern online marketing and old school music biz know how”. Fans were given the opportunity to ‘pledge’ for various Funeral for a Friend related delights, from a download of the new EP to the opportunity of recording gang vocals on an EP track. The limited edition EP is not going to be available in shops, so those who have not pledged have missed out. This is an incredible shame as these four songs build on the more mature sound of previous album ‘Memory and Humanity’, reintroducing the brutal edge that was present on debut ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’.

The ethereal electro-infused introduction of ‘Serpents in Solitude’ quickly builds to an explosion of classic Funeral for a Friend riffage, the guitar line interweaving neatly with the vocals. Right from the first track it is evident that Matt Davies is at his best; an incredibly talented vocalist who has the capability to switch between styles while conveying just the right amount of emotion. ‘Vultures’ features a moody bassline and brutal drums, marking a contrast with the soaring chorus of this ode to the futility of life.

Stepping up the pace, ‘Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don’t’ hits the listener with more insane guitar-playing, reminiscent of B-side ‘Lazarus’, from the ‘Hours’ era, coupled with relentless drumming. Final track ‘Sixteen’ rounds off the EP nicely, with beautiful vocals that are supported by a melodious guitar line.

‘The Young and Defenceless’ is classic Funeral for a Friend; maintaining the band’s established sound and managing to be as fresh as breakthrough single ‘Juneau’ was back in 2003. It is a testament to the band members’ songwriting skills that they can come up with new music that is more or less guaranteed to appeal to existing fans. A new album is currently being recorded and if this EP is anything to go by, it will be another storming record worthy of a place in any rock fan’s collection.

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