Funeral For A Friend live at the Garage

Funeral For A Friend
The Relentless Garage, London
18th February 2013

It’s a cold Monday evening and London’s Relentless Garage venue is graced with the presence of Funeral For a Friend. A somewhat intimate venue for these guys, who are no stranger to filling Brixton Academy and the like. The post-hardcore band have had a good, solid last ten years, enjoying major label success with ‘Hours and Tales Don’t Tell Themselves’ to taking a more indie route with the last few albums including the new album ‘Conduit’ which hit the shelves earlier this year.

The band have had a varied sound over the years, and ‘Conduit’ takes a step backwards, going back to their post-hardcore roots which isn’t a problem at all at the Garage because the atmosphere is as electric from the get go, to the ballad at the end. Singer, Matthew Davies greets the audience and asks if anyone had attended the matinee show in Kingston earlier in the day, to which half the crowd cheer. Pretty interesting, doing two shows in a day, and even more interesting for the lucky people who went to both!

The crowd, and myself, I have to say, were hit with a blast of nostalgia as they started the night off with ‘She Drove Me To Daytime Television’. Having had a look around, it looked as though pretty much everyone at The Garage were probably in their teens when FFAF’s debut ‘Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation’ was released, so this song was a perfect opener, taking us all back to our teenage years jumping around in a venue probably as intimate at this one. Davies introduced most of the set with a meaningful description and insight into what each track means to them as a band, the politics, the friendships, and the positive messages.

The diverse setlist was action packed. They chose to play some of their heavier songs, which fueled the mosh pit and left everyone in a sweaty state. But the evening was gracefully brought to an end with the song ‘History’, which Matt explains is about the 1980s miners strike in Wales and the lack of determination and faith from the government and what the country had to go through. The evening ended with all the support bands on the stage, arm in arm singing the chorus to ‘History’, along with the sold out crowed in the Garage. A great way to end a fantastic evening.

Words: Arif Noor

Such Gold

Such Gold
‘MISADVENTURES’
Razor & Tie Records
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Such GoldAmerican pop-punk is kicking off in the UK – is it just because they’re American? Hell no. It’s because pop-punk is awesome.

After having a few setbacks in 2012 Such Gold have retained their strength and are back with their debut studio album, Misadventures that oozes impeccable pop-punk. If you have been with Such Gold from the start and you have enjoyed their previous EP’s, you’re truly in for a treat.

The album kicks off with the aggressive, yet upbeat ‘Two Year Plan’, which is pretty much the album condensed into two minutes and eighteen seconds of pure pop-punk brilliance. To be honest, most the songs merge into each other. They’re not particularly bad, just generic pop-punk tunes. However, there are a couple of songs which are more distinctive than the others. ‘Storyteller’ is a lot heavier than the rest and offers a chance for the listener to really appreciate the devotion that these guys have put in.

The lyrics portray a veil of youthful emotion. When vocalist Ben Kotin sings …and I wish that I could say the days alleviate / this artificial pain I never thought that I’d be feeling at this age”, his words strike a familiar chord; this is music you would listen to while trashing your ex’s house.

Kotin’s vocals blend perfectly with the pounding drums and contagious guitars to create a relentless wave of emotional angst and passion throughout. Everything that comes out of his mouth just seems like he is in a hurry to tell you, and that you must know whatever he is saying instantly.

Misadventures has everything that you would expect from a pop-punk record: catchy riffs, great beats and a singer screaming into your ear drums. Oh, and what is a pop-punk song without the whole band shouting in the background? Although most of the songs just get a nod of approval, there are some goldmines – pun not intended. It’s a good album, not spectacular, but worthy of your time none the less.

Words: Emily Gunn