The CD Bin

Albums sampled:  Funeral For a Friend & Driver Side Impact

Funeral For a Friend
Album:  Memory & Humanity
Mini-view:  Their fourth studio album and first with Chicago-based Victory Records continues the Welsh alt-rock outfit’s trend of combining traditional alternative rock with a post-hardcore edge…without the high pitched screaming that is almost obligatory in that genre.  And honestly, I can go without the screaming in post-hardcore.  Funeral For a Friend has found after four albums a happy medium in combining the two genres.  But don’t get me wrong, the harsh vocals that highlight post-hardcore is present in much of the 13-track album but there are some spots where they go without the post-hardcore edge and they come off as quite refreshing.  The only gripe I have is that it’s way later in the album when that happens.  Tracks like ‘Building’ and ‘Charlie Don’t Surf’ gives the listener a refreshing change from the hard drum licks and harsh vocals and the focus then goes on lead singer Matthew Davies’ vocals rather than the instrumentation around it.  ‘Kicking and Screaming’ is a head-banger and so is “Waterfront Dance Club”.

Driver Side Impact
Mini-view:  In the labels’ promo materials, Driver Side Impact is described to be similar to Angels & Airwaves, Boys Like Girls and Silverstein.  After listening to their sophomore effort, ‘Lion’, the band is more closer to the sound of Silverstein than the other two aformentioned bands although influences can be clearly heard on the album.  It does help that lead man Branden Langhals bears a resemblance to A&A’s lead man Tom DeLonge.

The overall sound as said before is more closer to Silverstein, with the propensity for hardcore-like guitar and drum licks and the usual harsh vocals but that’s where the similarities end.  Hardcore has never been known to get rhythmic or even remotely sunny and Driver Side Impact uses a lot of rhythm one can even mosh-dance to like the opening track ‘Walking on Water’.  Also most songs on hardcore tend to run at least 5 minutes long and all but two tracks run in the high 2 to high 3 minute range, giving them a radio-friendly feel.  The title track is one of the key tracks one must listen.  I like the guitar-fueled beginning and it showcases the band in full intensity the mix of genres such as punk, some dance -rock and post-hardcore.

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