Certain albums often have interesting backstories, as well as compelling reasons to listen, despite being flawed. In the span of just over a decade, post-hardcore fan favorites Funeral For A Friend released a number of influential albums, especially the one-two punch of Casually Dressed… and Hours. While they sadly disbanded a couple years ago, their 7 full-lengths give us ample room to really examine just how FFAF evolved over the years. 2007’s Tales Don’t Tell Themselves, while not among the band’s best albums, deserves a second listen.
Following up 2005’s Hours was not going to be an easy test, no matter what direction Funeral For A Friend went. While a decidedly non-aggressive affair that turns in their most metal/hardcore influences for a more alternative rock sound with loads of pop hooks, that doesn’t mean FFAF played it safe here. A concept album by nature is often tough to pull off, but it’s done fairly well here. We won’t totally spoil the story, but the tale of a fisherman being lost at sea is certainly compelling.
The music itself is quite solid, too. While occasionally slowing down to a mid-tempo pace in the middle of the record, there aren’t any outright bad tracks here. There’s quite a few highlights, too. The record is bookended by “Into Oblivion (Reunion)” and finale “The Sweetest Wave”, two of the best Funeral For A Friend tracks, period. The latter is especially interesting because it’s a piano-driven track that spans over 6 minutes long, and really shows just how ambitious the band was in their career. Vocalist Matt Davies puts on an underrated performance the whole way through, especially on the heaviest cut here, “Out Of Reach”. This isn’t even making mention of “All Hands On Deck” parts 1 and 2, where a sharp and distinct string section buoys the band’s songwriting without coming across as overblown.
Tales Don’t Tell Themselves is a sadly overlooked record that never got the credit it was due. While occasionally slowing down in spots, there are plenty of reasons to appreciate what Funeral For A Friend accomplished here – overlooking it would be a mistake.