From First to Last. So much can be said about this band with only one EP, and as of now, two LPs under their belt. Each disc’s sound has changed drastically. Most of the change from 2003’s “Aesthetic” to 2004’s “Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Bodycount” can be attributed to the change in vocalists between the albums. Originally auditioning for a role as the band’s new guitarist, sixteen year old Sonny Moore turned out to be what the band was looking for in a frontman. Not quite a man yet, Sonny has endured brutal criticism from the scene police, and praise from the kids that love this band. You’ve got to hand it to him, though. A joke and parody of itself, “Dear Diary…” featured vocals comparable to The Used’s Bert McCracken, and lyrics so full of cliches that Hollywood could have enough material for a new teen-aimed drama. The band knew what they were doing in writing that album, and they’re back to give a big middle finger to the naysayers.
Just as “Dear Diary…” was released to mixed reviews, “Heroine” has been receiving several different opinions. This band could have very easily written “Dear Diary… Pt. II”, but instead took a different approach. Some of this could be attributed to producer Ross Robinson, who is known for helping to put Korn on the map. Actually, this album isn’t too far from the nu-metal sound that Robinson helped perfect in the mid to late nineties. Ironically enough, Limp Bizkit’s Wes Borland provides the bass lines on this album.
“Mothersound” opens the album with a shitton of vibrato in Sonny’s voice. This is my biggest complaint on this whole disc. When it’s not present, Sonny’s vocals have been honed so much. I loved this kid’s voice on “Dear Diary…” and it’s still strong here. The song takes a stab at everyone that wrote this band off as another “screamo” trend band, with lyrics like, “I have done this for the sound. Have done this for the sake of you. The sake of me; And you can mark my fucking words: “We aren’t a mock-supposed to be” We’re here to rouse the rabble,” in the chorus.
The first single, “The Latest Plague” is a faster track that once again takes a stab at everyone that shit-talks this band.
“…And We All Have A Hell” is the creepy, erotic older brother of Clay Aiken’s “Invisible.” Stalkerish, perverse lyrics..yeah. I can see it.(/Joke) Oddly enough, I love this song. I don’t know if I should feel weird about that.
We finally get a taste of the above average screaming of guitarist Travis Richter in “Afterbirth.” Lyrically and melody-wise, I really don’t like the song too much. The music is top-notch, though.
The chorus of “World War Me” has me to believe that Sonny’s been blasting Fall Out Boy’s “Of All the Gin Joints In the World” too much. The song’s still pretty solid, though.
“Shame Shame”, which is set to be the second single from the album(although I don’t know why) is like “Afterbirth.” I just don’t really dig the lyrics and vocal melody. The music is still great, though.
I hope “The Crows Are Coming For Us” never comes up on my shuffle in the middle of the night. The second verse is just downright creepy sounding.
“The Levy” is a strong track that has that vibrato in it again. It’s not going to ruin it for me, though. The song blazes along and then cuts off to a quiet whisper, only to pick back up again.
“Waves Goodbye” has Matt Good and Sonny going back and forth with repeated lines, slow, soft, and actually pretty. The song has an electronic part from middle to end that makes this slow jam an enjoyable change of pace for the album.
“Waltz Moore” has Sonny addressing his problems with himself and the people who feel so bad about themselves that they like to hide behind screen names and take stabs at him. Keep shit talking this kid, because he’s probably having way more fun than you are.
“Heroine,” the album’s title track, closes the disc off and makes you wonder if that was really From First To Last you just listened to for the past 40+ minutes.
Lyrically, this album is way better than “Dear Diary…” Although it’s nothing too deep, it stands apart from most of the crap we’re being fed these days.
I can’t say enough about the musical progression of this band. Derek Bloom once again proves why he’s one of the best drummers in this scene. Matt and Travis have constructed guitar parts that range from intricate to heavy to “What the Hell was that noise?” If Alt. Press doesn’t put them in their guitar special for their work on this album, something is wrong.
One last thing I’d like to address is the band’s image. They get so much shit for the way they dress, their makeup, whatever people complain about. Honestly, though. Could you see this band live, playing this music in polo shirts and Hollister jeans? I really don’t think so. Get over it. It’s marketing.
From First To Last have delivered a dark, heavy album that’s light years away from their previous effort. They’re still going to get shit talk, but it’s probably from people whose band can’t make music that’s anywhere near the league these boys are in. It’s only going to get better with time.
2. The Latest Plague
3. …And We All Have A Hell
5. World War Me
6. Shame Shame
7. The Crows Are Coming For Us
8. The Levy
9. Waves Goodbye
10. Waltz Moore