From First To Last

From First To Last

Written by: TL on 17/05/2008 18:24:03

Settle down people. History class is in session. Todays topic is From First To Last who, upon the addition of vocalist Sonny Moore to their lineup, released their 2004 album \"Dear Diary, My Teenage Angst Has A Bodycount\". Possibly the most misunderstood album ever, \"Dear Diary\" catapulted the band into the forefront of the same emo-scene, that the album was largely a parody upon. Later, the band has admitted that they had little idea what they were going for, and effectively \"Dear Diary\" was a many-headed beast of a record, fusing emo, screamo and samples with sarcastic lyrics and volatile vocals. As if annoyed with people not getting it, 2006\'s critically acclaimed \"Heroine\", screamed bitterness and contempt at such volumes that the songs almost got lost under it, and soon Moore, who\'s voice wasn\'t handling the strain of his performances, left the band in favour of his more subtle electronica project.

Suddenly the band who had been on the lips of all the scene had lost their frontman, soon they lost their bassist and then they lost their record label. For a while it seemed like FFTL had burnt out rather than faded away, but the remaining members pulled through, got a new bassist, a new record deal and came back with a self-titled album, which effectively concludes the history lesson and commences its own review:

Now what every old fan of the band wants to know is if they are worth a damn without Sonny. Yes they are. Will we miss him though? Definetely. Lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Good is a proficient singer on his own but he is lightyears from possesing the depth and urgency Moore was capable off expressing. Effectively the vocals are not the all-dominating focus point of \"From First To Last\", and in general it is clear that the new constellation stands for a more homogenous approach. There are still screams left in the band but by and large the new record is straight-forward rock rather than screamo or post-hardcore.

However, when \"Two As One\" opens the record displaying the full capabilities of the reborn band, noone could care less. The song goes straight to your mind and stays there and restores at least my faith in the band somewhat. It\'s a shame it opens the album though, because none of the remaining tracks are as immediately infectious, and while after several listens, I\'m beginning to take a liking in tracks like \"Deliverance\" and \"We All Turn Back To Dust\", the majority of the songs seem to lack the power of the opener as well as the early material. Somehow I\'m fairly confident the songs will grow if given some more time though, there\'s just no denying that they\'re outshined by the opener, and I feel like I\'m missing a bit of the screamo/hardcore influence of the old days.

In conclusion, \"From First To Last\" is the sound of a band that finally seems to have stabilised themselves both in terms of lineup and expression, and effectively ends up being a quality rock album. I have this image in my head of the old constellation having some of that volatility that makes for the classical self-destructive rock\'n\'roll sound, and that is unfortunately gone now, but it\'s still good to see that From First To Last have found their bearings. Truly, with Sonny they were momentarily brilliant, but they\'re still good, and even now I see here and there elements that could make them my favourite band if they could display them more consistently.


Download: Two As One, Deliverance, We All Turn Back To Dust
For The Fans Of: Saosin, Armor For Sleep, The Used, Behind Crimson Eyes

Release Date 06.05.2008
Suretone Records

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