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Funeral for a Friend Tales Don't Tell Themselves Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

'Tales Don’t Tell Themselves' sees the boys continuing to put clear blue water...

Harry Holgate 2007

Tales Don’t Tell Themselves is the third studio album from Welsh rockers Funeral For A Friend, and one that finds them in full-on top-of-cliff-helicopter-shot mode. Consisting of an arc of driving heartfelt rock songs, it tells the tale of a fisherman called David whose ship is wrecked and his subsequent emotional and physical journey back to land and his love.

Yup, you heard right, this is a concept album, and proud of it too. But before the memory of 70s prog and twenty minute solos grips you, all the songs here stand on their own individual merits as well as taking you through David’s emotional voyage.

The first song, ‘’Into Oblivion (Reunion)’’ opens with a nod to just those concept albums past with strings, synth, female choral backing and drums coming in slowly but, just as the fear starts to grip, the guitars hammer in and the band launch into a conventional but tightly produced emo epic. In true High Fidelity style, the next two tracks take it up another notch before ‘’On a Wire’’ with its more introspective feel cools you down.

Just as well, because the two-part ‘’All Hands On Deck’’ provides the guts of this album and marks it out as a mature and heroic third effort. Atmospheric, uplifting, energetic and just the right side of polished, these two songs show why FFaF have been an influence on quite a few bands, not least recent tour-mates Fightstar. The lyrics occasionally bow more to the need for rhyme than for sense (‘for the road that we walk / have more miles left to talk’) but the force of their argument carries it over such details with ease. There seems to be less complexity than in previous efforts and existing fans may feel a little short-changed, but those looking for an alternative to the powerful but often bleating strains of My Chemical Romance or the diet-rock of Fall Out Boy should take a listen.

TDTT sees the boys continuing to put clear blue water between themselves and their punkier beginnings, a process started with their last album, Hours, and continue to sail towards the holy grail of intelligent popular-without-selling-out rock-orientated emo. Thar be big fish in these waters, but FFaF have been charting a steady course and display the sort of musical maturity which could lift them up to their place in the pantheon, and soon if they’re lucky.

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