Funeral For A Friend - The Young And Defenseless EP

Album cover
Emo
Join Us Records
Funeral For A Friend
The Young And Defenseless EP
Funeral For A Friend - The Young And Defenseless EP Review rating:
1.5
User rating:
Average: 4 (6 votes)

It is a shame that in recent times, the term "emo" is going out of style. To be a band labeled as such is often considered passé, and as a result, it is seen as a term that drives nails into the coffin of an aspiring band. For the five-piece group Funeral For a Friend, this EP is their departure from that scene. No longer interested in the sodden, the morose and the depressing, The Young and Defenseless is tangible evidence of Funeral For a Friend taking on a more aggressive stance to writing music.

Behind the charmless album cover, however, is nothing more than a cheap knock-off of what the current hard rock niche has to offer. Throwing in a few complicated riffs and a bland vocal melody, the effort is apparently absent in the making of this EP. One can't help but feel like they are listening to a Bullet For My Valentine copycat, with the harmonized licks, the upbeat yet emotionless cries, (often of fairly shallow content), and rougher screams interspersed throughout.

Opening with a distant electronic beat, the first track "Serpents in Solitude" is a track that, even upon repeated listens, fails to stand out as an original and interesting piece. Explosive and upbeat as it is, the song is fairly empty of lyrical significance. Following is the song "Vultures", with a catchy opening riff, but then devolves to a boring vocal melody, meandering without much structure. The other two songs are of a similar vein, using a fast tempo to drive the rest of the EP to a quick finish. And though there are only four songs on The Young and Defenseless, it is easy to see that FFAF doesn't avert from the fairly standard song structure of intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge etc.

Rarely is there a case where a band regresses in both song writing and musical skill. Here, although there is some entertaining guitar action, it is almost as if Davies-Kreye is microphone-shy. His normally whiny, lilting voice finds a hard time keeping up to speed with such fast-paced music as heard on the EP. This is partly why the album is hard to identify with as a Funeral For a Friend fan; you can hardly sing along, without feeling like being a part of a public protest.

To top off the largely unimpressive release, there's a lot of dissonance within the songs. In fact, there is such an overall disconnect between the EP title and the songs that it feels misplaced. In "Sixteen", granted, the chorus rings "young and defenceless/ a waiting son at arms", but that is not the feeling exuded from the first track "Serpents in Solitude". How FFAF progresses from snakes to sons at arms is completely absent here.

The emo scene is diminishing in proud representative artists (Hawthorne Height's Skeletons was proof of another band singing-out of the genre), and with The Young and Defenseless, it seems that Funeral For a Friend is still in search of some solid ground.

1. Serpents In Solitude
2. Vultures
3. Damned If You Do, Dead If You Don't
4. Sixteen

Funeral for a Friend is a post-hardcore band from Wales. They formed in 2001 as a sextet called January Thirst. This did not last long, and in 2002 Funeral for a Friend recorded their debut EP Between Order and Model with their original 6-piece line up. After having been together for just a few months, the band changed their line up and subsequently signed a deal with Warner Brothers records for whom they recorded their second EP Four Ways To Scream Your Name.

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