Review: From First To Last – Throne to the Wolves

Artist: From First to Last
Album: Throne to the Wolves
Genre: Hard Rock/Post Hardcore
Label: Rise

Through multiple member and label changes, From First to Last seem to have grown bitter at the entertainment industry. On their fourth full length, Throne To The Wolves, the band chooses to vent all their frustrations through their music and ruin a lot of promising song structures and instrumentation in the process.

From the get go I knew there was reason to be concerned about the new From First to Last record. Having regained a decent chunk of their fan base with their last record, the first since the departure of vocalist Sonny Moore, the band had also taken a few stylistic changes. However, the more rock driven sound of the last record was then thrown away for a heavier sound more reminiscent of their early material for this record for reasons one [after listening to the record] would assume has something to do with being called “sell outs.” Well, if doing what your fans want and more than obviously retreating from the sound of your last record isn’t the definition of selling out in your book, then congrats to you FFTL, but I’m willing to bet more than a few of you can see the problems with the band’s philosophy.

Poor reasoning aside, Throne To The Wolves actually only works because of the music. Tracks like “Grits” and “The He Man Woman Hatred Club” find the group exploring much more technical rock sounds, while maintaining their melodic hardcore feel and the results are truly great. The problem however, comes into play nearly every time vocalist Matt Good opens his mouth. Again and again [and again and again] on Wolves, Good uses his frontman position to do little more than complain about the emptiness of the scene or the whore like tendencies of the women he meets in life. Forget dealing with heartache, growing up, finding religion, or anything of substance, FFTL would rather whine about how they aren’t as popular as they thinks they should be. The reason behind this lack of fame? Well if you ask Good and crew it’s because the band has stayed true to themselves, but if you ask me it’s because they’ve lost all emotional depth in the process of venting about their position in the rock scene.

I’m not even going to comment at length about the blistering instrumentation of tracks like “Mo” because it takes a minimum of three plays to even realize how far FFTL has come musically. This is because one rarely gets a moment to enjoy a song’s complexity or scale before Good comes in to gather everyone together and complain about how they aren’t getting their way. In fact, for every redeeming musical aspect of Throne To The Wolves there are at least 3 instances of Good’s lyrics being the equivalent of a child’s response to having to eat vegetables before they can play with their friends – aka – temper tantrums.

Hey FFTL, get over yourselves and stop changing your sound because the internet says so. Maybe if you were truly honest with yourselves you’d realize a name change could have prevented the now impossible to escape shadow of what FFTL used to be and maybe then you’d be happy with your place in the scene. You dug this grave, now lie in it.

Score: 4.5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

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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  • Kyzum

    Dude, your a fucking retard with a TERRIBLE way of reviewing things. Throne to the wolves is going to be one of the greatest albums ever and I /facepalm you because your a fucking noob. Get over yourself with your “high and mighty” personality. No matter what you say, good or bad, this record is going to fucking sky rocket. As for Matt’s lyrics, I hope you know, hes written 90% of all of FFTL’s songs and every single one of them is amazing.

  • James

    Apparently you didn’t hear their last album. Also, I like that you’re putting down a review of an album you haven’t heard yet. I get that they may be your favorite band and, in your vernacular, are “like totes awesomes zomg,” but everyone’s favorite eventually puts out a bad album.

    Fall out Boy = FUCT
    Blink 182 = Take Off Your Pants…
    Taking Back Sunday = New Again
    [and so on..and so on…]

  • sarah

    Personally, I feel like this will be a great album for FFTL. I’m glad that they’ve found their own sound and that they’re happy with it. I think it’s a little unfair for you to say that they’re putting out this sound for the fans. I feel it’s pretty obvious that FFTL puts out their music because they love it, and if people aren’t behind it, who are they to judge?

  • Strong review James, I actually had high hopes for this album, but after reading your review I am not as excited anymore. I’m sure we all appreciate the honesty this review displays.

    But really? Take Off Your Pants and Jacket was a bad album from Blink 182? Noooo wayyy.

  • James

    Compared to Enema and the Self Titled? Yea, it was a bit of a let down. I mean I still choose it over 98% of music, but yea… ha

  • Blakeworm

    Hey guys! My name is Blake and I’m the newest member of the band. I feel like someone should set this straight. There were countless nights over the past year we were rehearsing and writing, writing things even outside of our playing ability. Lyrically, there was probably just as much work and effort put into these songs. I’m sorry that I can’t let you infest these people with your misinformative thoughts. There is a reason for the angst within the lyrics. Remember when music, art, poetry, ect. was created for ventilation of emotions. All of these thoughts exist within everyone on this planet, and we simply chose to vent them so we don’t have to bottle them up and get some shit job giving bands bad reviews to get rid of our insecurities. Please believe me, this message was written with the best of intentions and this is no personal attack. Thank you for what you believed to be an honest review.

  • matt

    blake your my new favourate band member!!! haha.. worst review i’ve ever read its more like a bitch post on a forum posted by some upset fan girl.

  • James

    Once again. How are you talking about an album that isn’t out yet unless you’ve heard it? While Blake is entitled to defend his arts as are fans, how can you speak on behalf of something you know nothing about?

  • just one more silly band that tries to seem far more complex than they really are. emotionally, lyrically, etc.

    you wont be missed.

  • James

    I love you dino.

  • this is a horrible review, ob this guy was a fan of sonny moore, but man, FFTL is matt goods band it is not sonny moores, this cd is amazing compared to the previous two this cd is what everyone wanted Heroine to be.

    so to sum up throne to the wolves quickly ” this cd takes you to where ascetic and dear diary left off”

  • Daley

    Worst review ever in my opinion. You favor Sonny which is pretty clear, but in reality Sonny wasn’t in the band in the beginning, Matt’s one of the original singers. Yeah Sonny was good but Matts good too. You know what really pisses me off? Is that people are still bitching about Sonny leaving, but Travis just left and people are already pretty much over it. Sonny ISNT coming back, he left because he wanted to do something different, hes happy and so is fftl. Leave it be. Stop bringing up the stupidest excuses just to tear them apart, fftl has been through so many people leaving their band, its amazing their still together. I love fftl and always will. Yeah bands do let out bad albums, but this is a really good album. The full one is on their myspace and it’s really fucking good in my opinion. & fftl arn’t the ones that need to get over themselves, you are.

  • Rucker

    Its a good album, and you appear to hate every album that got those bands you mentioned big. Like From Under The Cork Tree, Take Off Your Pants and Jacket, all GREAT albums. Also Matt has improved greatly at singing, I mean no he’s not your typical singer, but he’s good at what he does. And if they wanna talk about how they hate the industry and girls then thats their deal, it appears to work for a lot of other bands. Why even attack what a songs about if its a good song? Just my 10 cents.

  • B REV

    Poor Review, it sounds like this guy is whining honestly. Even further more, you must not have an appreciation for broad spectrum music. I can go from Ella Fitzgerald straight to FFTL and not miss a beat, ppl need to quit having such hard attachment to lyrics, it’s part of the song, but it doesn’t always make the music. Just look around for failures in that respect. FFTL has come a good way in diversifying their sound, so take in the whole piece, not every word with a grain of salt. Have some imagination, that everything ever put into music is a baby step towards the next best thing for your sound, and everything you work on isn’t always going to be spotless. Enjoy music, if you don’t like it, don’t listen to it, but nobody wants to hear ignorant negativity. GET REAL, OR GET FREE.

  • Lucifer

    I really liked the new FFTL album, but I also concur on a lot of things you said James.
    From my POV, FFTL has done the right thing by going back to their older style…not from a coherence perspective, of course, just because it’s what they do best. There are many rock bands that do great things, they couldn’t even think to compete with their self titled… I mean, rock music has not a strong instrumental part compared to hardcore and metal… which is good if you have an amazing vocalist that won’t make you miss the heavy instrumental part, but with the weak and “sweet” Matt’s singing you can’t really rely on it… so I think that more heaviness and less power to the vocals kinda saved them from sounding so not convincing.
    About lyrics, as I’m from Italy, I didn’t get all of the lyrics, just a few words… but I’m afraid you’re right about them… although ‘being moany’ is part of most of the post hardcore bands really, not something peculiar, if you know what I mean…
    Sorry about any errors i might have made :)

  • Lucifer

    I forgot to add that I really liked how the vocals fit the music in TTTW… they didn’t sound ‘weak’ nor ‘strong’, they just sounded right.

  • Joshua W

    Woah..now that this album is out your review is the only negative one. Oh “selling out”, by the way, is actually listening to the fans and playing the same sound over and over to be more likely to sell more albums. I am proud of FFTL in their ability to play the music they want. They honestly don’t care what the fans want lol. They play what they want, and all the anger in their songs is them expressing their beliefs about the world. (which I gotta say I agree alot with every song they make)
    You sir, are crazy and know absolutely nothing about music. If I had to guess I’d say you’re one of those die hard girls(yes girls) who want sonny back so they can self pleasure to his absolutely unbearable and screeching voice. Don’t review a band unless you’re willing to let go of the past and open your mind to new things. I give this album 10/10 for it being a simple master piece. Just listen to it I mean mannings bass is distinguishable from guitars. The guitars are so diverse and not the usual harmony that FFTL brought to the table. Matt’s voice has developed to singing, and of course Derek doesn’t disappoint on drums. Manning’s screams are also an amazing change. This album is the best thing FFTL has come up with in a long time. Although I have loved every album they put out. Listen to me people not this know nothing.

  • Joshua W

    Oh yeah…From First to Last isn’t even really hardcore anymore either they are like just rock, the new rock..so no way in heck are they going back to an old sound. None of their albums have sounded the same ever. Even the new one. I’d say they will probably honestly be a gate way to the future sound of music. There are very few if any bands you can compare them too. They have always had a unique sound. Also a name change will never happen…sorry to break that too you. The only time that would occur is if the last two founding members leave (Good/Bloom). Oh and Matt Good was their old singer he who is misinformed Sonny was their 2nd vocalist. Phil screamed for them while Matt sang, and Sonny was never supposed to be the singer he was going for guitar while Matt was the front. After hearing Sonny joke around in the studio though they gave him the position. I’m grateful Matt is finally accomplished where he was always meant to be.

  • Lucifer

    So, I found a way to check the lyrics out and to be honest I liked them… this review is really… I don’t really think they were ‘over dramatic’, ‘silly & whiny’ or anything…
    James I’m starting to wonder if anything could have happened to you before you wrote this review… maybe some anal trauma or something… because you really were a little too harsh.

  • Tonyyy

    The ignorance present in this review is staggering, this is perhaps one of the worst reviews I’ve ever read. Regardless of feelings towards the album, like it or hate it, anyone can see this review circles around one aspect of the album failing to provide any insightful analysis of the musical progression present in FFTL’s newest album. So you don’t like what the lyrics happen to be about, don’t let that one aspect determine your entire thinking! They aren’t “whiney”, rather complaining about “heartache, growing up” would be a lot more whiney and immature. FFTL has come far from their days of talking solely about relationships gone sour. This album is their greatest release since Dear Diary and will no doubt be met with joy from their fans. Conversely, James, you should probably start thinking of a career move so nobody will have to waste their time reading your one-sided, biased, uninteresting reviews.

  • queso

    first off, fuck the guy who wrote this review. this album is really amazing. more amazing than any previous album from this band, more amazing than sonny moore, and much more amazing than a lot of the garbage people consider good music these days. ive absolutely loved every other fftl album, but ‘throne to the wolves’ really puts them all to shame. if they had to get rid of travis to make such a good album then im glad they did. this album has so much feel and substance. this band just keeps evolving and matt good is such an amazing under-rated talent. definitely worth your time, i promise.

  • Zach

    I’m really starting to sense that FFTL has a “Diva Issue” and yes I’m refering to Matt Good. Let me start out by saying that I have always been a fan of the band and especially of Matt, but the way thiings have gone over the years is really starting to give me a bad taste in my mouth. I’m beginning to wonder. Is it that John, Sonny, and Travis were creating issues within the band or is Matt Good just impossable to work with? Some one stated above this is Matt Goods band…well I’d say Matt believes the same thing. People can say what they want, but when Sonny left this band lost a SHITLOAD! They never rebounded. Im not necessarily just a Sonny fan, but im more of a FFTL fronted by Sonny Moore fan. FFTL will never EVER come close to where they were with Dear Diary again. Ever. As far as this album. Its average at best. Good instrumentals, poor vocals, a pretty average album. FFTL is the past I suggest taking a listen to the future. Go buy an Escape The Fate album. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Perfect example of a band that went through the same kind of line up changes as FFTL and didnt skip a beat.

  • James

    Finally! Someone else gets it. Thank you.

  • Spartacus

    In defence of “Throne to the Wolves”

    You know, upon initially listening to the new FFTL album I would have been inclined to agree with your review. I was very disappointed. The sound was good, very technical, impressive, and dare I say catchy. But you hit the hammer on the head, lyrically the album was just to inferior and seemed to be a bit more on the ‘whiny/bitchy side.’ “Chyeaaaa!” seemed to be the albums only redeeming quality.

    But I was persistent and continued to listen. I was determined a band that got me into the sort of music I listen to now (a sort of stepping stone if you will) was capable of much more. I listened again, then again, and for good measure a few times. To my suprise, the album began to grow on me. I’d read the lyrics then listen to the songs and I found myself not nearly as appaled as I first was, it was becoming pallatable. I now find the lyrics to be actually quite smart. Yes, they seem to do an awful lot of complaining about the “scene.” But if you look at the and current state of music (attack attack, and brokencyde are shining examples here) those complaints are valid because there’s a lot of shit out there now. A lot of it much worse than FFTL. I also find it to be fairly tongue-in-cheek. The opening line of”Elvis Said Ambition Is A Dream With A V8 Engine” is a perfect example of this.

    I can most definitely see why you gave it the review that you did, well because I would have given it the same review too. But I urge you to listen to it again, and then one more time and I bet it’ll grow on you like it did on me.

    It’s not Heroine, when FFTL was at its best and most expiremental, but it is a huge step up from their s/t.

  • Amigod

    Back Off Bro!! This FFTL album kicks butt. FFTL is constantly pushing the boundrys of hardcore and I love it. And WTF were u expecting? A F’ing pop album? Of course Matt is gonna whine and moan. That’s what he does, that’s why we listen. Give up! We all know ur just hatin!

  • Nicole

    You are a fool. From First to Last is amazing no matter what, and this album just happens to be the best one yet! As for him complaining, he has the right to complain! People suck! Most of the people walking this earth are idiotic illogical human beings. For The He Man…. complaining about whores and such… Maybe you don’t understand because you take what you can get, which probably isn’t much because you have a disgusting personality. But some people want a quality girl, like Matt Good. He has the right to complain, and if I were a girl or a lesbian that song would be my anthem. Get your ears checked, get checked for a mental disorder, or just take mad drugs so you can’t think straight and so you therefore can’t fill the world with your idiotic thoughts. But you probably already took mad drugs to get you to think this way.

  • Nicole

    oops***** what I meant to say was if I were a GUY or a lesbian******** my b.