Funeral For A Friend is one of the last remaining bastions of the British hardcore scene that exploded into the mainstream at the turn of the century. Bursting out of Bridgend, South Wales, in 2001, Funeral For A Friend were hailed as the saviours of rock music from a young age and given the task of re-energising a scene in desperate need of fresh blood. They are veterans, in many ways, but fourteen years after their formation and the band still packs as much punch and purpose as they started with, if not more.
2013’s Conduit was an exemplary moment of a band breaking out from the weight of expectation that had been placed on their shoulders before they even started. Vivid, aggressive and urgent, Conduit shook off every presumption that had been attached to Funeral For A Friend after the release of their era-defining album Casually Dressed & Deep In Conversation in 2003. What follows, is Chapter & Verse – the band’s seventh full-length record and a natural follow-on from the confidence and conviction displayed on Conduit.
Recorded in two weeks with Lewis Johns (Gnarwolves, Goodtime Boys), Chapter & Verse is a classic Funeral For A Friend effort in the spectacular way it melds gruff attitude with melodic choruses, but it also happens to be one of the most sonically diverse records the band has ever made.
Flitting frantically between relentless blast beats and heavy, discordant riffs to the kind of guitar lines you would tend to expect from Midwestern bands like Sunny Day Real Estate, Chapter & Verse is yet another statement that says Funeral For A Friend is not a band that can be placed in a box as easily as some would assume. Opening with vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye’s personalised off the hinges screaming, one of Chapter & Verse’s defining features is its unapologetically political lyrical content. From wealth inequality to feminism, the lyrics are a far cry from the band’s early material and display a sense of growth that can only come from experience. A self-assured and cohesive step on from Conduit, Chapter & Verse is one of the most hard-hitting albums in Funeral For A Friend’s catalogue. It is a raw and energetic effort that propels the band to a whole new level, whilst simultaneously raising the bar for everyone else.