Funeral For A Friend are a band that need no introduction. The Welsh heavyweights are back after a disappointing couple of albums with an EP of new material, remixes, covers, and live versions; at nine tracks you're getting more bang for your proverbial buck; ever the gents.
They open with new track 'High Castle' which is a rather delicious concoction of old and new styles with a more cock-rock-ish chorus of melodic power chords and soft vocals, "In memory, the butterflies are fading, I'm on my knees, I'm waiting, I'm waiting," but it's the punk influenced thrashy verses that really hook you in. For a modern rock song from one of Britain's biggest bands it's catchy in all the wrong places and it's fucking brilliant in its sincerity as you scream along to the bands long time manifesto, "Our words are weapons, fist by fist."
If you're a die-hard fan then you will, obviously, be purchasing this anyway and you're unlikely to admit that the boys lost their way a little over the years with a watered down version of their own sound. Alas they are heavy again, thrashing out riffs, double bass peddling their way through 30 minutes, and prepping throat lozenges on ice for the post scream come down. It's no wonder Matt Davies and co couldn't keep that act up for long, it's clearly bloody agony in the business, I mean look at Adele and she can't even sing.
See You All In Hell though is an adolescent EP every bit as pure as Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation. It's low, raw production style has everything to do with this. Serving as an expansion pack to Welcome Home Armageddon the record includes a number of live versions which help create this atmosphere and they do it in fabulously filthy style, but sometimes they take it too far and the version of 'Sixteen' sounds a tad to 90's for this decade; then again it was sort of the point of the song.
It's a stripped back version of their only decent record in a number of years and acoustic and live covers only highlight the fact that Welcome Home. was a staggering return to form, it's builds on the foundation of Casually Dressed... In a slight paradox they manage to show off their vocal and instrumental prowess by taking things back to basics. 'Broken Foundation' though shows a stunning return to form as Matt Davies and the screaming drummer switch off between an assault on your ears and melodies that melt before they've even been recorded. It's ferocious and delicate in perfect doses and this live XFM version is as crunchy as peanut butter, or a car crash.
Maybe it was just me but until listening to this EP I never realised just how good their latest album actually was. It's beautiful in its simplicity of spirit and deserves your attention, all of your attention for just a short while; it speaks perfectly to old fans, new fans, and those who didn't even realise they were a fan. If you don't like heavy music then who cares check out the heart achingly good acoustic version of 'Old Hymns'.
At this point in their rather successful career it's the perfect time to release an EP, in particular this EP. It cements their reputation as a band that have grown phenomenally; for worse or better I'll leave alone; it brings to light everything you love and always did love about them, and most importantly it shows that they still have it. Clever little Welsh boyos aren't they?
All I can say is keep on screaming.