Plus a handy guide to post-hardcore from their singer, Matt Davies.
[Eds. Note: According to our analytics guys, you live in the United States. You also listen to indie rock, rap, and… uh… EDM. Point is, you might not have given melodic post-hardcore too much thought lately. And even though I grip my old Boy Sets Fire and Lifetime records like seat cushion flotation devices, the genre's made a shit ton of missteps in the past decade, and I've relegated the misty-eyed, heart-on-full-sleeve style to a shelf in the closet next to my Stand By Me laserdisc.
If you're like me, you may not have followed the ascent of Funeral For a Friend: Over the past few years, these Welsh face-melters have pretty much transcended the watery-eyed mall vibes that makes this stuff so unbearable (have you seen Diapered Emo Boys?), trading it in for a sleek melodic hardcore hybrid. They just sent us their new record, Conduit, which is out on February 5. You can pre-order the record right here and stream it below, but snobs be forewarned, there are some earnest roads ahead.
We hit up singer Matt Davies for his guide to post-hardcore, which we present to you here in full, after the stream.]
Now before I go off and start writing, this isn't a beginners guide to post-hardcore. It's more like "my choice of bands that I believe did something kick-ass in a sub-genre of a sub-genre." So let me start of with Swiz.
The reason why I'm bringing Swiz into the post-hardcore equation is because they were an amazing DC band and everyone already knows how cool Rites Of Spring is. So for a moment, let's shine the hallowed spotlight on some other overlooked Beltway badasses. The band featured ex-Dag Nasty frontman Sawn Brown on vocals, mixing up the passion of Minor Threat with the more melodic sounds of the Dag, and Verbal Assault. They made something energetic and groovy: Just listen to Jason Farell's guitar playing and tell me this band didn't kick arse!
A melding of rock, metal, punk, and hardcore. This was something so rhythmically different than anything I'd ever heard before. I don't think anyone was prepared for what Walter Schreifels would deliver after the demise of NY melodic hardcore kings Gorilla Biscuits, but I'm sure this left people slack-jawed on first listen. The whole stop/start dynamic, the tense, almost-strained vocal delivery - it's all brooding and pummeling, yet uplifting and beautiful. Only two albums and an EP and they pretty much spawned an entire genre. The kings of post-hardcore? I'd say so.
In the middle of the Seattle explosion, one little band from Tacoma got lumped in with all the grunge nonsense and, in my humble opinion, became sorely overlooked and under appreciated. This is a band who's influence can be heard all over current bands like Basement, Citizen, Tigers Jaw, Such Gold, and a bunch more. Soulful, heart-on-sleeve melodic post-hardcore that was about a decade too soon to see the success the genre would have later on. Sad, really. "Baggage" is a bad-ass tune!
TEXAS IS THE REASON
I got into this band the year after they broke up. They left us with one record called Do You Know Who You Are? It's gone on to be so important to tons of people, not just the post-hardcore establishment. This band were more than emo: They are more than anything. To many, like myself, they were just fucking perfect. Heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, loud and quiet all at once. It's sad that we only got to have one EP, one song on a split seven-inch, and one full-length record before they split… but damn. What an EP, split seven-inch, and full-length!
BOY SETS FIRE
Angry, political, aggressive, and beautifully melodic, the perfect melding of folk protest and hardcore fire. Just one listen to After The Eulogy will convince you of the importance of these guys. Not for show, just direct and to the point. The finest band birthed in the 90s if you ask me. Simply my favorite post-hardcore band of all time.
Conduit is Funeral For a Friend's new record. It's out on February 5, and you can pre-order it right here.