Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Funeral for a Friend-Conduit review

Recently I have been working with an electrician who is designing electrical conduit for a food processing facility.  There is a ton of conduit in this building, so finding out where each line is routing is time-consuming and complex.

Funeral for a Friend's latest album, on the other hand, is neither complex nor is it a time-consuming listening experience.  In some ways the band picks up where they left off with on the not-so-overwhelmingly received "Welcome Home Armageddon".  My own opinion of the previous album notwithstanding, "Conduit" is a good FFAF album, just not the best.

We are huge fans of FFAF here.  We own either CD or digital copies of every single full-length album they have released.  "Conduit" is every bit as good as "Welcome Home Armageddon," but not quite up to the standard set with "Hours" and "Memory and Humanity."  We believe this band to be bar-none the best Welsh rock band out there.  Granted, there are not that many heavy-hitters from the Kingdom of Wales, but FFAF is the best.

Whereas the previous albums were harmonic rockers, "Conduit" shows us a different aspect the band has been trying to incorporate more and more through the last two albums.  Listeners of metal, straight-up hardcore, and punk will identify with the subject matter and delivery of this album.  FFAF is still very much a rock band and indeed graces listeners with numerous harmonic hooks, but what "Conduit" truly is, is a post-hardcore release.  This is perhaps most similar to the earlier tracks from "Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation." 

My only problem with this release is indeed a fairly major one, and complex at that.  The structures evident in the 11 tracks are the simplest melodies and riffs FFAF have ever constructed.  These 11 tracks more often than not render themselves so simple that the simplicity detracts from the creativity in the song-writing.  The tracks on this album average under three minutes apiece, with the longest just 3:39.  The shortness of the tracks leaves no room for extended vocal melodies, guitar leads, or solos.  These items have been FFAF staples for years, so having none of these to chew on leaves plenty to be desired.

"Conduit" is still a solid release that should appeal to both true fans and casual listeners.  The album is simply too short in my opinion.  Check out the title track and Spine below.  As always, thanks for reading and enjoy!

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