Remember when hardcore used to be legitimate? Once, before the tine of Boy Sets Fire and Fall Out Boy, Refused showed us The Shape of Punk to Come and reinvigorated the fairly monotonous genre, which is just a basic blend of metal and punk.

Jess Cox
If you look at us long enough, we become really depressing.
(Courtesy of Atlantic)

In recent years, however, groups like Thrice and the aforementioned Fall Out Boy have been working overtime, turning the scene of punk music into a pop phenomenon and hastening its degeneration. Funeral for a Friend is the materialization of that decline.

The group’s first major label release for Atlantic Records, Hours, is ridden with bombasts of distorted guitars juxtaposed against pop melodies and emo lyrics.

“The End of Nothing” opens with an ’80s dual guitar riff followed by a Metallica-esque assault. Even this, the album’s most aggressive track is destroyed by the catchy melody and sappy lyrics: “You and I will die alone tonight / You and I will lie alone tonight.”

“All the Rage” and “Roses for the Dead” wear their obvious Boy Sets Fire influence on their sleeves. Other, slower tracks like “Streetcar” and “Hospitality” scream their emo roots: “Turn off this machine / This is the only thing that’s keeping me alive / So pull this switch and see my body twitch.”

Hours was inevitable. With indie groups like Death Cab For Cutie and Fall Out Boy making the leap to the mainstream, Funeral for a Friend was bound to follow the trend. Unfortunately, when these groups leave their independent foundation, they abandon the music and sell out to their careers. Turns out that when it comes to punk, Refused was wrong.

MUSIC REVIEW: 1 out of 5 stars

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