Hours strengthens most of the Funeral for a Friend sound, the one they had so much success with on the 2003 debut, Casually Dressed & Deep in Conversation. The Welsh combo still doesn't do anything that different from its peers, adhering to the post-hardcore/emo formula of self-righteous vocals, hooky dynamics, impassioned screaming, and underpinnings of time spent listening to Deftones and Get Up Kids records. But Hours gives the kids what they want right out of the gate, and has flashes of brilliance in its more upbeat material. "Who was it that said that great things come to great men?" Matt Davies asks at the outset of "All the Rage." "Well that fucker lied to us/There's nothing here but a wasteland." The sentiment recasts the teenage wasteland of yore, replacing hope for redemption with the blank stare of apathy. "How many times can I say I'm sorry and really mean it?" Musically it's a melodic hardcore rager, full of flinty guitar runs and anxious hitches in the percussion. It sounds similar to what listeners have heard before, but runs deeper than most. Unfortunately, Funeral for a Friend are less unique in the ballad department. "Hospitality"'s plaintive crying isn't distinctive, and its arrangement recycles Def Leppard for a generation just discovering how much love bites. "Drive," too, is the height of melodrama with its "This could be a movie" centerpiece. But the single "Streetcar" has a nagging urgency in its melody, and "Monsters" and the metal redux "End of Nothing" are equally strong. Funeral for a Friend never lose their youthful vigor, their wonder about the promise of life as well as its bad places. This helps them, because you believe that they aren't just going through the motions. Hours falters when it slows. But when it kicks up a racket the album screams like the conscience of a kid finally given a voice.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus