Bands like Funeral For a Friend and Boysetsfire remind me of a time when emo rock was at its peak and everyone’s clothing choices were questionable, while heavy black eyeliner was often seen on both genders. The moment I found out about the record Split by these two bands, I knew I had to give it a listen.
What I find intriguing about the record is the fact that the bands are not releasing any new original work, but instead each is covering one of the other’s old songs. FFAF covered BSF’s track “Rookie”, while BSF covered the FFAF song “10.45 Amsterdam Conversation”. While both bands take different approaches to the songs, they still manage to stay true to many of the crucial elements of the tracks.
Funeral For a Friend’s cover of “Rookie” starts off almost entirely like Boysetfire’s version with the exception of the introductory guitar riff, which is far more influenced by early metal than the original. Aside from almost entirely mimicked instrumentals, the vocals sound far more refined than on the original version. That does not come as a surprise as Eulogy, the record it originates from, was released in 2001. It’s worth noting that many of the emo rock components of the song remain evident on FFAF’s cover. The vocals on both renditions play on the half screamed/half spoken style that was so prominent in the early 2000s.
I remember being quite intrigued by Funeral For a Friend’s song “Red is the New Black” off of Seven Ways to Scream your Name when I was going through my darker days, so I was certainly interested to hear Boysetsfire’s rendition of “10.45 Amsterdam Conversations” which hailed from the same 2003 record. BSF’s version of this track differs from FFAF’s as its introductory instrumentals start off as very quiet and peaceful but suddenly develop into a much heavier sound. It certainly throws me off guard almost every time I listen to it, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If anything, this further catches my attention and sets the piece apart from the first version. Both versions introduce the vocals as fry screams, so it was great to hear BSF stay true to that important aspect of the track.
Funeral For a Friend and Boysetsfire went for something different when they chose to record the Split that throws back to a time when emo rock dominated the music scene. Upon choosing to cover each other’s songs, the bands expressed their admiration for one another in a successful way. I’d recommend this record to anyone who still feels nostalgic about the emo days of the early 2000s.