From First To Last – From First To Last

Band: From First To Last
Album: From First To Last
Genre: Scene Rock
Label: Suretone

1. Two As One
2. The Other Side
3. Worlds Away
4. We All Turn Back To Dust
5. Medicinal Reality
6. A Perfect Mess
7. Tick Tick tomorrow
8. Deliverance
9. I Once Was Lost, But Now Am Profound
10. Be-Headed
11. In Memorium In

So your band is faced with a quandary: Just when your group has seemed to secure some stability in the music scene with two albums, your singer pulls an “I wanna go solo!” This in turn means you lose both your label and established front man, not to mention almost your entire band, never to be remembered again.

If this sounds almost ridiculously familiar, that’s because it is for From First to Last, who are back on their feet with their third release, From First to Last.So far, I’ve heard rather bitter opinions about this band and this album as well, citing repetitiveness, inconsistency between albums, and a lack of energy in spots. With me having an open mind, and maybe nothing else to do, perhaps I can snag a good album from the jaws of…being a bad album?

The big story of FFTL’s self title is guitarist Matt Good assuming lead vocal duties, while reverting back to rhythm guitar. (psh…apparently he’s no Alexi Laiho or Dave Mustaine) A lot of people did not like Sonny Moore, the aforementioned front man, and I would have to probably agree. His voice reminds me a little more of the wails from Fall Out Boy at some points on FFTL’s previous albums, and doesn’t go down as smoothly as Good’s voice, which is a little more accessible, probably why FFTL adapts a rather punkish-pop rock feel to this album.

Indeed, instead of venturing further into hardcore territory after getting their feet wet in the genre with Heroine, FFTL molds their music to Good with catchy chorus-driven songs, sprinkling in little post-hardcore bits here and there. “Two as One” showcases Good’s vocal range, starting with the mellow verse riff that expands into the chorus, where Good strains his voice to a near scream.

After the first two songs, FFTL slow it down with “World’s Away,” where their pop rock sounds through, reminiscent of a maybe a late Relient K release. Good is able to create a good aura with his vocals, and combined with the soothing guitar background remind me of relaxing to Circa Survive. One of my favorite songs is a “Perfect Mess,” which comes across a little sassy, if you don’t mind me saying so. Although the first half of the album contains just enough hooks and tricks to keep you in, this addictive ditty will keep you listening.

On the back end, “Deliverance” is where we learn that whoever does the screaming (lead shredder Travis Richter and bassist Matt Manning are credited with backing vocals) should really just stop. ‘I Once Was Lost, But Now I Am Profound” is another good toe-tapping anthem. The album pans out into a little acoustic outro, with Good’s soothing voice over the top.

Overall, FFTL’s self title shows a lot of character for a band that almost had to split. While I identify with Moore’s voice more with the older FFTL releases, especially my all time favorite song, “Ride the Wings of Pestilence ,” Good does a respectable job for the type of music FFTL tried to pursue. Although they come off more as pop rock band with some punk roots thrown in, they are classified as post-hardcore, and are able to pull that off without being so whiney that you’re almost ashamed to listen to it. Yes, FFTL isn’t the most original band I’ve heard, but From First to Last is satisfying enough to at least try, music listeners, considering this is a pretty decent album for a group that almost wasn’t one.

*Written By: Jacob Kanclerz*
GRADE: 7/10

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

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