Tag Archives: funeral for a friend

Live Review: Funeral for a Friend (Hours Show) at the Kentish Town Forum 20/5/2016

ZOAX
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London post hardcore act Zoax are a great booking for these final Funeral for a Friend shows. They’re a young, confident band with hooky rock anthems to draw the earlier attendees in. They also get the audience moving early thanks to vocalist Adam Carroll’s insistence on being everywhere. Carroll makes his way onto the Forum’s balcony before making his way onto the floor and getting the audience moving. It wasn’t obnoxious either; the man has a charisma that’s hugely endearing. Zoax left a great impression and put the room in good spirits.

RAGING SPEEDHORN
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Booking a band like Raging Speedhorn was an odd choice for this show considering how much louder, heavier and screamier they are than everyone else on the bill, but it was great to see some variety that reminded me of a lot of my early gig experiences. Raging Speedhorn weren’t exactly greeted with the same enthusiasm as Zoax but they weren’t booed either; definitely a warm reception, just not a particularly fiery one for a band this aggressive and my God was it aggressive. Raging Speedhorn don’t feel like they’ve been away at all and they power through classics like Fuck the Voodooman and The Gush while showcasing a few numbers from their upcoming album Lost Ritual. The new songs sat perfectly alongside their older material and this offering certainly has me excited for what might be one of the greatest British comeback records in recent years.

FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND
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When a very soft-spoken Matt Davies-Kreye takes to the stage unceremoniously and then followed by his bandmates, it brings with it an honesty that has always permeated Funeral for a Friend’s music. This is a band that just wants to make music and play it to people. There’s a sombre tone in his voice throughout tonight’s set and he takes every opportunity to give the fans a little backstory about each song from Hours, something he has previously shied away from.

There’s a bizarre atmosphere in the room throughout their performance. Davies-Kreye establishes from the get-go that this is a celebration but that it’s perfectly acceptable to cry if you feel you must and if anything, it felt like he himself actually would at any point during tonight’s set. The audience are phenomenally loud regardless and every song off Hours is sung with enormous enthusiasm by every person in the room.

Funeral for a Friend mean a great deal to a huge amount of people and the band treat the fans to some great surprises in the form of Streetcar b-side I Am the Arsonist and a surprise reunion with Darren Jones and Ryan Richards for a retro version of Juno from their debut EP Between Order & Model. Even so, at no point do Funeral for a Friend go over-the-top tonight. There’s no fanfare and no encore, just wonderful, honest music. God damn it Funeral for a Friend; I’m going to miss you.

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Review: Terrible Love’s Change Nothing

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I think people are going to be very quick to establish Terrible Love as a “super-group” as the band is made up of members of Goodtime Boys, Bastions, Funeral for a Friend, Crocus and Grappler. That’s some incredible pedigree and basically a who’s-who of some of our favourite bands, but sadly they’ve all split up or gone on hiatus making Terrible Love a very natural progression that echoes the way a lot of bands start life. No established band is ever anyone’s first band and the experience that each member brings to the table makes Terrible Love’s debut EP Change Nothing an incredibly accomplished first drop.

What’s immediately noticeable is that Terrible Love actually sound like a band made up of its component parts. It’s strange but expectations that come from such well known and recognisable bands immediately put ideas as to what they should sound like in your head, but most projects of this calibre don’t realise themselves in the way you expect. Terrible Love are the exception to the rule. This is heart-on-sleeve, emotive yet aggressive post hardcore that is equal parts memorable, interesting, biting and beautifully constructed.

The title track perfectly encapsulates what the band are about and it’s difficult to not want to instantly bang your head to the wonderfully bouncy, twangy guitar riffs. The vocal delivery is an intriguing spoken word approach that’s yelled in a similar fashion to Goodtime Boys themselves. It’s by no means free-form and definitely matches the beats of the songs but it makes Terrible Love sound vitriolic and heartfelt which is perfect for this type of post hardcore.

Change Nothing is a strikingly well-structured EP that ebbs and flows between fast-paced, punk-rock bangers like Mt. Misery and more delicate, glittery numbers like They Need You. It moves in such a natural and satisfying way that it’s incredibly difficult to find fault with the song-writing, and when it all comes together on songs like Stone in Me then it’s absolutely electrifying.

Terrible Love’s Change Nothing is an incredible debut from a band that comes with a lot of expectation and they absolutely deliver. This is a remarkably accomplished start to a band’s career that I hope lasts for a very long time.

8/10

Terrible Love’s Change Nothing is out now and available on 12″ vinyl through Big Scary Monsters.


Music Video: Terrible Love’s Mt. Misery

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Post hardcore mob Terrible Love have seen fit to drop another music video from their Change Nothing EP and this time around we’re treated to a stylish tour video of Mt. Misery from the band’s time on the road with Rolo Tomassi. The band features members of Bastions, Funeral for a Friend and Goodtime Boys and if that doesn’t excite you then you should start this video right now:

Mt. Misery comes off Terrible Love’s Change Nothing EP which is available on vinyl from Big Scary Monsters. Tune in on Friday at 12pm BST for more substantial Terrible Love coverage on UK Scumscene.


News: Funeral for a Friend Are Splitting Up

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Post hardcore luminaries Funeral for a Friend are splitting up. A massive force in UK heavy music, Funeral for a Friend are responsible for one of the defining UK post hardcore records in the form of 2003’s Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation.

The band would go on to write and record a total of 7 studio albums but suffer significant line-up changes throughout their career, to the point that only one original member remains (guitarist Kris Coombs-Roberts), although the majority of their recorded output also features vocalist Matthew Davies-Kreye.

Funeral for a Friend will embark on one final tour in early 2016 playing 2-night residencies across Australia, Europe and the UK where they will play both Hours one night and then Casually Dressed and Deep in Conversation the other night. The band will also play songs from various EPs and albums in addition to these records in full.

UK Scumscene would like to thank Funeral for a Friend for their contribution to UK heavy music and wish everyone in the band the best in any future endeavours. You will be sorely missed.


Review: Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses

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Radio Alcatraz have returned and they’ve created a post hardcore album with some pretty interesting names attached to it. The band’s sophomore album is called It’s All Coming Up Roses and it’s produced by Refused’s own Pelle Henrisson. Not only that but it also contains guest appearances from Justin Schlosberg from Hell is for Heroes, Jamie Lenman, Justin Sane from Anti Flag and Liam Cormier from Cancer Bats. That’s some pretty hefty names in the heavy music scene.

So why have these guys decided to take an interest in Radio Alcatraz? It might have something to do with the fact that the band make some of the best post hardcore the UK has to offer right now. Since the release of the band’s debut album Populous: In the Belly of the Beast, the band have grown exponentially as song writers. The band’s music is brilliantly dynamic and while the angular openings of the songs and the quiet/loud dynamic will make fans of the genre feel at home, Radio Alcatraz have an unnerving knack for making each of their songs build up to an epic crescendo full of excellent melodies and leads by guitarist Andrew Eales.

The crescendos are where Radio Alcatraz really shine. There’s a real euphoria that comes from listening to tracks like The Physical Effect as you’re taken on a journey that begins in the weird, progressive area that so many post hardcore bands explore to be lulled into a gentler and more melodious middle eight before the band hit home with some soaring vocal melodies and guitar leads. It’s a beautiful experience that Radio Alcatraz have absolutely nailed on this album.

Not only is the music a wonderful love letter to post hardcore but the guest appearances from Justin Schlosberg and Jamie Lenman have the rather lovely effect of reminding you how brilliant UK rock music was in the early 2000s. This country had some stunning post hardcore to its name and Radio Alcatraz bring back joyous memories of bands like Hell is for Heroes, Hundred Reasons, Million Dead and early Funeral for a Friend and you can’t help but be reminded at how fantastic our rock music is.

It’s a shame that an album this well written should come out in an era where UK rock doesn’t bother the charts in the same way it used to because if It’s All Coming Up Roses was released in 2003 it would already be regarded a classic. That’s not to say that this record sounds dated in any way, just that it calls back to a bygone era of great UK rock music and Radio Alcatraz deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the band’s that championed it.

Do you like post hardcore? Do you like early 2000s UK rock music? If the answer to either of those questions is, “yes” then you should be buying a copy of Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses right now. What this album lacks in originality is made up for by being one of the best post hardcore albums to come out in recent memory and I hope a legion of rock fans are still talking about it in 10 years’ time.

8/10

Radio Alcatraz’s It’s All Coming Up Roses is released on the 8th of December. You can pre-order it from Banquet Records right now.


Review: Casino Thieves’ The Quiet Road Home

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Early 2000s post hardcore! I like early 2000s post hardcore and so should you. Hundred Reasons, Hell is for Heroes and Funeral for a Friend delivered some classic albums full of massive riffs and even bigger choruses and Casino Thieves have clearly noticed this. The band have delivered an EP in a much similar vein and The Quiet Road Home bursts out the gates and doesn’t let up for the entirety of its duration.

Opener Halogen Eyes sets the mood perfectly with some gorgeously satisfying guitar work from singer/guitarist Jeremy Dessent. Dessent also powers through his vocal melodies with a brilliant voice that was made for hard rock music and its full of passion and melody. There’s also a lovely little solo before the final chorus that really sets it off. It’s a simple tactic but its effectiveness is sublime.

Also supporting Dessent’s melodies are some hugely impressive bass-lines courtesy of Leon Jones who favours a very deep, warm and twangy tone that’s always present in the mix but never to the point of obnoxiousness. A real problem with having such prominent bass work is that it can often get too high in the mix, but Jones’ work gets the balance just right. This is evident in Exit or Entrance? which contains a large passage where Dessent’s guitar work takes a sort of stop/start approach which makes the bass even more prominent but not to the point where its intrusive.

Beefing up the band’s sound is some thunderous and crash-heavy drumming from Adam Kerslake. We’re a big fan of the man’s powerful yet thrashy style and Kerslake sounds like he’s absolutely dominating his kit for the entire EP. This is a record made for air drumming.

The only real negative we can through at The Quiet Road Home is the lack of variety in the songs. This is not to say that they aren’t beautifully written but it can be a bit exhausting listening to four post hardcore bangers in a row and they all follow the same sort of pop structure we’re all too familiar with. Thankfully we are given a breather for the final track Beautiful Lenses which opens with a stripped-back, jangly, guitar melody and generally follows a slightly slower tempo than the tracks that preceded it, but it might have been nicer to have this appear at the half-way point. It’s only a slight niggle but it certainly affected our listening experience.

Regardless, Casino Thieves manage to tap into the excitement of early 2000s post hardcore with amazing results. The songs on The Quiet Road Home are thunderous and anthemic and its easy to envisage them coming from a big, festival stage where they belong. Casino Thieves have all the right elements to put them into the big leagues and this EP is a real highlight in modern post hardcore. I really hope to see these guys become a household name in a few years because this taps into an exciting era of rock music that clearly still has some life left in it.

8/10

Casino Thieves’ The Quiet Road Home is released on the 8th of December through all digital outlets.


Year End: The 10 Best Albums of 2013 Part 1

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Before we start our list of the 10 best albums of 2013, please remember that this list was decided by one person and therefore represents the opinions of one person. This will likely not reflect your own opinion but that’s okay; there’s room for more than one opinion in this crazy world of ours and your’s is just as valid. As per the theme of UK Scumscene, this list also contains releases by UK bands ONLY. Okay then, let’s get this show on the road:

10) Dinosaur Pile-Up – Nature Nurture

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Dinosaur Pile-Up proved they were much more than the British equivalent to Weezer with their second album ‘Nature Nurture’. This is an astounding tribute to the days when pop-rock was made with riffs and overdrive pedals. You can hear a much larger cross-section of bands penetrating Dinosaur Pile-Up’s sound with ‘Arizona Waiting’ sounding like Foo Fighters, ‘Peninsula’ sounding like Ash and ‘Start Again’ sounding like the best Feeder song Feeder never wrote.

9) Subset – Loverdose

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What we said:

“Ignore the issue of flow and you have one of the most exciting and down-right inventive rock albums of the year. Subset are one of the most enjoyable and bizarre rock bands doing the rounds and missing this album would deprive you of one of the most creative rock albums in existence.”

Read the full review by clicking here.

8) Funeral for a Friend – Conduit

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‘Conduit’ has been a strange record for me in that it didn’t instantly click as the Funeral for a Friend I know and love. This is an immediate, hardcore-influenced FFAF that aren’t bothered about taking longer than 3 minutes to get their ideas across. ‘Conduit’ clocks in at just under 30 minutes and it’s absolutely thrilling to hear the band back with a reinvigorated energy that makes the whole record spark and fizz. Many have commented that FFAF sound like a much younger band on ‘Conduit’ and they’ve even managed to prove this on the big stage. ‘Conduit’ is a welcome return to the no-nonsense thrills of the band’s ‘Between Order and Model’ days.

7) Jamie Lenman – Muscle Memory

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What we said:

“So how the hell do we sum up such a bizarre and challenging record? ‘Muscle Memory’ is very literally an album of two sides and while the heavy side of Jamie Lenman’s music can sometimes fall flat without his trademark melody, the side of the record which focuses solely on his beautiful song-writing succeeds on many, many levels. There’s an awful lot to love about Jamie Lenman’s ‘Muscle Memory’ and while not all of it works, a far higher margin of songs do and it reminds you exactly why this man’s music is so special to so many people. Welcome back Jamie you crazy bastard.”

Click here to read the full review.

6) Bovine – The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire

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What we said:

“Bovine’s The Sun Never Sets on the British Empire is an exciting, brash and surprisingly interesting record that manages to balance its’ visceral elements with excellent melodies. The whole record flows naturally from one song to the next and offers one of the most solid listening experiences a rock fan could ask for. Bovine have put together a stunning debut which sets the bar for the rest of their career extremely high. No pressure or anything lads.”

Click here to read the full review.


Our Picks for Catbird’s Sunday Roasting on Bloodstock Radio (17/11/2013)

We returned to co-host Catbird’s Sunday Roasting beside James Begley of Hybris on the 17th of November 2013. Below is a list of our picks for the show and links to online stores that allow you to purchase the releases they are featured on. We thoroughly recommend you scope out the bands we featured as we truly believe they are some of the best UK rock and metal artists doing the rounds:

MINE – Disappear (buy here)
Funeral for a Friend – Storytelling Part 2 (buy here)
Press to Meco – Affinity (buy here)
Rhoda May – #8 (Out 6/1/2014. Download 589 EP which features this song here)
Gurt – Psycho Killer (buy here)


Interview: Teenage China

Hey guys. Fill our readers in as to who you all are and what you do in the band.

Within Teenage China, Ged handles lead vocal duties whilst Barry and Rick play guitar. Francis plays drums and Simon plays bass. Everyone sings too.

Boring question out of the way first; do the Chinese characters simply mean Teenage China or something else entirely?

The characters roughly translate as young man, adolescent or most fittingly “a youth”. It represents a theme which runs through our music, name and uniform.

What inspired the band’s “uniform”?

We always liked the idea of a uniform image but wanted to avoid the usual clichés (corpse paint). Having consumed a lot of eastern media, we’ve seen armbands appear as a bit of a regular feature there. They’re often a symbol of a group, cause or ideal and we liked that a lot. Since we’re all approaching our thirties, we found that youth (what’s left of it) was a very big theme when we started writing this music. We wanted to write youthful music while we felt that we still could. Our image portrays us as a unified front for youth!

What introduced you to all to post hardcore? You guys seem to come from a very “early 2000s” school of thinking.

We spent our teenage years watching Kerrang! and listening to the Radio 1 Rock Show. This introduced us to bands like Funeral For a Friend, Glassjaw, Boysetsfire and At The Drive In. We’ve been fans of the genre ever since. Our favourite post-hardcore tends to come from the mid to late 2000s. So when starting the band, this was the sort of music we wanted to tip our collective hats to.

What’s your proudest musical achievement in Teenage China to date?

Appearing on Russian file sharing websites.

Are you happy with what you achieved on the Forth EP?

There’s always room for improvement and it’ll take us a while to settle into a more focused sound. As far as first EPs go, we’re all pretty happy with how it turned out.

I love all the little Scottish references in your lyrics like ‘wandering West Lothian’. Do you guys feel a bit of patriotism to Scotland or are the lyrics simply inspired by the places you’ve grown up or lived in?

It’s a bit of both. We’re all fairly patriotic and we love living here. That said, some of the lyrics relating to the places we grew up are written with more disdain than patriotism. For anyone who has grown up in a mid 20th century ‘new town’, they’ll know what we mean. As far as new towns go though, at least we’re not in Cumbernauld or Milton Keynes!

What bands that you’ve either played with or admire would you recommend to our readers?

From our local area some bands we really like are A Torn Mind, Ultimate Slaymaster and Vasquez. In terms of bands from the wider world: Dance Gavin Dance, The Panic Division and Unwound rank very highly.

What’s coming up next in the Teenage China pipeline?

We have plans to record a single and another EP before the end of the year.

What’s the best way for people to keep up-to-date with Teenage China updates and news?

Our Facebook and Twitter pages are pretty active, you can find them here:
facebook.com/teenagechina
twitter.com/teenagechina


Review: Press to Meco’s Affinity

Where have Press to Meco been hiding all this time? These Londoners make a beautiful prog metal racket that’s fused with some brilliant pop rock melodies that makes them sound like The Safety Fire mixed with Tales Don’t Tell Themselves-era Funeral for a Friend. This is such an unusual blend of styles that it really has no place working so damn well.

Affinity is Press to Meco’s 2nd EP and it packs an awful lot of ideas into its’ 5 songs and somehow manages to make a coherent record out of it all. The vocals bring the most memorable melodies to the forefront with a sugary, upbeat quality that’s at polar opposites to the enormous, riff-lead, technical mayhem going on at the same time. The title track is musically on the same page as bands like Periphery and TesseracT which is impressive on its’ own, but partnered with the band’s hugely catchy vocals, Press to Meco manage to make prog accessible for the masses.

The record sounds absolutely massive as well. The production values are really high for such a succinct release. This helps it put the band on a level playing field with their peers which is no small feat for a band this early in their career. Enough cannot be said about how beautifully interesting and memorable Affinity is. This EP is just so impressive.

The only real negative comes from the fact that it’s all over in just under 19 minutes. When the final techy moments of Love and Reason jolt unnervingly to a close, you’ll be left begging for more. If Press to Meco made a full length album of this quality they’d easily become your favourite band in absolutely no time at all.

It’s becoming far too difficult to find the words to say how important Press to Meco’s Affinity is. The band manage to blend progressive metal and post hardcore with an unsettling ease and make one of the most amazing experiences to come out of the UK heavy music scene in a very long time. Affinity is a brilliant rock record that you’ll seriously regret not jumping at when this band launch stratospheric. Buy this EP.

9/10

Press to Meco’s Affinity EP is released independently on May 27th. Make sure you buy it.