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Funeral For A Friend - Tales Don't Tell Themselves

Funeral For A Friend, Tales Don't Tell Themselves

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

FUNERAL For A Friend lead singer Matt Davies has described their latest album Tales Don’t Tell Themselves as “the Lawrence of Arabia of records”!

That is to say, epic, expansive, cinematic in places and a classic in the making. Sadly, it falls some way short of classic status, emerging as a rather routine offering from the Welsh-based outfit.

By the band’s own admission, the story behind the album was troubled. Initially started during the summer of 2006, early tracks were quickly discarded as members conceded they had “hit a brick wall” creatively.

“We realised that we weren’t taking any risks,” concedes drummer Ryan Richards. “I wasn’t prepared to be in a band which wasn’t adding anything.”

But then fate intervened, as they put it. Richards took a three week break from songwriting following the birth of his baby daughter.

When he returned, he found a band newly-charged and which was able to write nine new songs in just two weeks.

The result is an album of grand sweeping choruses, epic widescreen ambition and soaring guitars – of stadium-filling anthems.

Yet somewhere along the way they’ve lost the edginess that made previous album Hours so interesting.

The songs on Tales Don’t Tell Themselves follow a particularly bland path and are epitomised by lead single Into Oblivion (Reunion), a track overladen with soaring guitars and heartfelt vocals that belong in a different era.

On some tracks, there’s the suspicion that Funeral For A Friend were aiming for the epic reach of Angels & Airwaves but their sound is more in keeping with some of the big stadium bands of the ’80s.

The inclusion of a 26-piece orchestra gives some cause for hope but is never properly utilised, while the strings and horns hardly bring anything new to this kind of power rock.

Tracks like The Great Wide Open and The Diary are loud and expansive – but there’s absolutely nothing special about them.

The album rallies briefly during the two-parter Raise The Sail and Open Water, which actually adopts a harder approach and actually quickens the pulse a little, but it’s a short-lived respite from the mediocrity that follows.

Come the closing efforts Walk Away, with its angst-ridden lyrics and generic power-rock delivery, and obligatory slow-builder The Sweetest Wave, which puts a piano to the fore early on, listeners might well be wondering what’s gone wrong.

Far from being “the Lawrence of Arabia of records” that Davies proudly predicts, it shares more in common with a box office disaster such as Heaven’s Gate.

It’s an example of power rock at its blandest.

Download picks: Raise The Sail, Open Water

Track listing:

  1. Into Oblivion
  2. Great Wide Open
  3. The Diary
  4. On A Wire
  5. Raise The Sail
  6. Open Water
  7. Out Of Reach
  8. One For The Road
  9. Walk Away
  10. Sweetest Wave

  1. This album is amazing, u are obvioulsy a thunderc**t who knows nothing of how to appreciate good music and a band trying to distance themselves from the stupid “scene” branding they have had to put up with.

    brad    May 19    #