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Funeral for a Friend softens down

Oct. 25, 2005

by STEPHEN CORTEZ, contributor

Funeral for a Friend returns with its second full-length album, Hours.

The band is difficult to wrap around your finger because, especially on this album, there's nothing that really jumps out at you.

However, at the same time, they don't do anything wrong in their music.

Funeral for a Friend is characterized by an interesting melodic-hardcore vibe.

While this sounds like an oxymoron, give the album a try.

The guitar riffs are fairly heavy, yet the overlay of the backup guitar and the constant overlaying vocals all merge together to give the songs a soothing quality.

Between the heavy guitar and occasional drum pummeling, the band seems to have all the makings of a hard rock or even metal-like band.

However, there is no screaming on this release, which is a noticeable difference from the band's previous efforts. The lack of screaming works well for the band on Hours.

Vocally, the album is reminiscent of Hawthorne Heights (minus the screams) and the fast-paced guitar elements of Thrice and Story of the Year.

While the songs are good, they lack uniqueness, as does the band. Hours certainly deserves a listen, but the songs do tend to run together, so you've been warned.

"Streetcar," the album's single, has a catchy chorus and "Alvarez" has some interesting lyrics and decent breakdowns. "It's All the Rage" is probably the most energetic song, but just when you think an insane breakdown and blood-curdling scream is coming, nothing happens.

There isn't much to complain about on the album.

The guitar is excellent, the vocals are decent and the songs are easy to listen to, but at the same time not overly radio-friendly.

Hours was released on Atlantic Records.

Hours is certainly recommendable, but also easily forgettable. Grade: B