Funeral For A Friend first recorded 'Between Order And Model' as their demo back in 2002. Last year, ten years after the demo was first recorded, Joe Gibb from Mighty Atom decided it was time to revisit it and dust it down, remix and remaster so that, over 11 years later FFAF are reissuing their much loved demo.
This demo reminds the band of their roots, of having day jobs and pursuing the musical dream. That in itself is a gold dust memory and they are sharing that with us. This reminds us all of starting out and having a dream.
Those of us who remember FFAF being noted on the music scene will also remember the debate that started around this band. "The guitars", we all noted, "they are a mesmerising mix of leads, that both seem to be heading in different direction at the same time and yet, oddly fuse well in each offering from this band."
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"What odd vocals they have", noted one critic, "what are they doing mixing clear melodic vocals with a baser vocal from a different vocalist." "What – two vocalists from the same band singing at the same time on the same song, in different styles? Surely not!" noted another.
So – what were FFAF doing? Innovating a new genre so it would seem; initially identified as 'Screamo' although not often identified by name in many music publications it is still a strong musical style and influence that you can hear in other bands emerging, in the Middle East, India and Pakistan quite predominately at the moment.
FFAF showcase a mix of hardcore, thrash, classic rock, Heavy Metal and good old fashioned guitar orientated rock. It is a winning blend. Personally I think it deserves to be remembered without being labelled as 'Screamo' but that is just my opinion.
Photo by Tom 'tb' Barnes
So, let us revisit this ground breaking birth and remind ourselves what musical genius sounds like...
Ooh, nice little tinkle - y intro, tap along, getting into what is clearly going to be a Sunday afternoon walk sort of a song and – ooohhhh – its off the edge of a cliff and onto a rollercoaster. Adrenalin rush anyone?
This is a well known fan favourite, more of a funk thrash fusion straight from the start and its ok, its catchy enough and good vocal duality. Nice guitar profile. Gentle thrash and melody. Odd, unexpected: very, very good.
The Art of American Football
Now this is straight up unadulterated hardcore/thrash and very welcome it is too. Sudden stop, sadly it is over...
Red Is The New Black
Softer start softer vocals with simple guitar start leading into a thrash backdrop, less prominently featured until the end.
Storytelling Part 2
Nice big melodic intro with a talkative guitar and a bass that really wants to make a point or two and drums that have an opinion too. Pretty good...
Grand Central Station
Dylan-esque guitar and 60s styled chorus vocals, unusual on a hardcore album but good never the less. To quote "it doesn't seem to matter" as we know the heavier stuff will be along shortly....
The Getaway Plan
And here it is, more thrash than you can shake a stick at, Slayer in mind with the intro and incremental guitars and drums with an excellent bass holding them all together. Although, very oddly, why I am hearing a Steve Vai influence here?
American Conversations Live
Just as good as the studio version but it is always good to hear bands away from the studio base.
Even better than the studio version, rawer and probably truer to the sound the band wanted. The vocals are amazing and the whole package is fantastic.
The Art of American Football Live
Straight into the song, thrash galore; raw, edgy and fast.
Red is the New Black Live
Gently meandering into the song, slowly building up the thrash core of the song.
'Between Order And Model' will be available from 18th November 2013 as Digi-Pack CD and for the first time ever on vinyl (limited to 1000 coloured copies).
Everybody who pre-orders 'Between Order And Model' through Impericon.com and Sandbag UK immediately receives an acoustic version of 'Red Is The New Black' as an MP3 download.
FFAF are: Matthew Davies-Kreye – lead vocals (2001 –present), Kris Coombs-Roberts – guitar, backing vocals (2001–present), Gavin Burrough – guitar, backing vocals (2010–present) bass guitar (2008–2010), Richard Boucher – bass guitar (2010–present) and Pat Lundy – drums, percussion (2012–present).
You can find ourt more about them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/funeralforafriend or at http://blog.funeralforafriend.com