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Funeral For A Friend

For all of the sounds American rockers have recently hijacked from English shores, it’s only fair that English lads are now taking stabs at American emocore, and Welsh quintet Funeral for a Friend undoubtedly leads this fast-forming pack. So while Louis XIV purports their faux British accents with smarmy pride, these power-chord strumming, floor-tom pounding lads seem to wish they’d cut their teeth at Jersey strip malls. New Jersey, that is.

For cred’s sake, Funeral for a Friend actually has roots in the Garden State. While U.K. press embraced the band quickly on the strength of its initial 2002 singles, ones that also landed a record deal with Warner UK, it was New Jersey indie Ferret Records — home to A Static Lullaby and Every Time I Die — that initially backed Funeral’s first U.S. release. Even before they became emo poster boys in the U.K., they honed their skills with dingy van tours across the U.S. with acts like From Autumn to Ashes and Cave In, and their metal tendencies even earned them an opening slot for Iron Maiden.

Hours, the band’s second full-length, is carried by those chunky, metal-tinged riffs from guitarists Kris Roberts and Darren Smith, particularly on propulsive lead single “Streetcar,” which opens with a chugging rhythm line that would do Judas Priest proud. On most tracks, it’s the voice of singer Matt Davies that establishes the strongest link between Funeral for a Friend and its emocore peers; he’s got that earnest, everyboy quality, the voice of suburbanite dreams, even if that suburb is a Welsh one.

Look big things for FFAF in the States should they choose to release “Drive On” as a single. Its lilting, mid-tempo groove, and sing-along chorus — “This could be a movie / This could be our final act / We don’t need these happy endings” — recall a certain breakthrough single for Incubus; believe that one was called “Drive.” Hours is out today.

Funeral for a Friend will play the Vans Warped Tour this summer, joining the bill July 20 in Indianapolis. Check out warpedtour.com to see when the Warped Tour is coming to your neck of the woods. For more on Funeral for a Friend, click here.

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