'Hours' sounds like Funeral for a Friend.
Despite its resounding success there's no denying that for every perfect pop song on 'Casually Dressed...' there was a weak studio track of emo-fodder filler.
'Hours' is apparently something of a gut reaction to the ten-word-titled songs about girls of their debut but the ghost of that record haunts this one.
The galloping pop rock guitars, 80's metal licks and sing-a-long choruses are all present and correct but this isn't an attempt to maintain fame and fortune by cooking with the same ingredients.
The first few tracks are real reminders of FFAF's uncanny Nirvana-like knack of writing songs you've never heard that feel like you know every word. 'All the Rage' blows away the cobwebs before the charging riff of first single 'Streetcar' ploughs past in three minutes of music made for the air guitar. Unfortunately it ploughs to nowhere.
'Drive' and 'History' are slower, almost acoustic, tracks where Matt Davies sounds like Fred Durst and the band sound like Bon Jovi. And if that can be ignored the absolute banality of the songs cannot. There are good ideas here but no matter how shiny the production, one good idea does not make a song.
Rather fittingly 'Recovery' marks a return to form that remains until the album closes. 'The End of Nothing' is the heaviest track here- complete with guitar noodles, aggressive vocals and the albums darkest lyrics. It works as a real tonic to the weaker middle section.
'Alvarez' sounds like Alexisonfire, maybe because it has a little of the high life and joy in it that that band has made their trademark, life and joy that makes a mark in few other places here.
'Hours' is a fine release but nowhere near perfect. 'Hours' is an album one half towering rock songs and pop genius and one half instantly forgettable filler and plain mediocrity.
Like I said, 'Hours' sounds like Funeral for a Friend.
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