Reviewed by Adam Smith
It’s been a tumultuous few years for Funeral For A Friend, who progressed from their underground roots to chart-bothering, press darlings in the space of one album, before losing members and being cast aside by the fickle music industry.
Thankfully, FFAF, who now have just two members remaining from the outfit who broke onto the scene back in 2003 with Casually Dressed and Deep In Conversation, have not lost any of their hunger and Conduit is the proof.
The album represents a drastic change in style, with Matthew Davies-Kreye deserting his standard melodic approach for a more brazen, hardcore style.
Admittedly, it takes a while to get accustomed to, and ‘Spine’ is not the greatest exhibition of his new vocals, but the title track then ups the tempo significantly, standing tall as a fantastic showcase of the band’s new hardcore style.
There are riffs aplenty in Conduit and new drummer Pat Lundy makes a large impact with machine gun- like fills and double bass, contributing an extra bite to the output. This is evidenced majestically in ‘Best Friends and Hospital Beds‘, which is easily the catchiest offering on the album.
‘Nails‘ may be the biggest surprise on the album, as it sounds akin to the melodic hardcore of Defeater or Touche Amore. Guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts truly makes the track shine with some outstanding sweep-picking.
Strangely, the weakest track on the album is the one which is most comparable with FFAF’s older material. ‘The Distance‘ is built to be a catchy rock song, though it falls short with a lacklustre chorus and emphasises that the band ‘s new hardcore direction is a bold yet positive move.