From First to Last
Heroine


3.5
great

Review

by John weathered old reviewer Hanson STAFF
July 6th, 2007 | 71 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A very good attempt at a full length by FFtL that almost breaks its scene-roots.

This is where the witty introduction should be. Insert it here.

Now that we’ve got that done, welcome to my review for From First to Last‘s second release from their current lineup, Heroine. If you’re into the faux-emo scene at all (or, you watch FUSE), you’ll undoubtedly have heard of them, and most likely have heard the first single from this album, The Latest Plague. What was it that first struck you? Don’t be ashamed, for it was also the first to cross mine. What the hell is up with that dudes voice? Sure, some people have rather high pitches, and some people sound quite whiney when they sing, and of course there are a few singers who seem to combine the two, but this guy just seems to take all that to the next level.

The vocals are the first dynamic of From First to Last?s appeal. Sonny Moore (the vocalist in question) has at once one of the most generic and unique voices out there today. On one hand, they have that high pitch and the whininess associated with today’s faux-emo pop punk movement, and it does vaguely conjure images of Gerard Way or that dude from that one band who did that one song with those lyrics “in the shadows of our lives" (that’s the kind of vagueness I refer to). However, despite that, Sonny somehow manages to keep from being a stereotypical voice and retain his own sense of self, and it helps the music along quite a bit. Unlike other singers in the same vein, most of the time he seems to acknowledge just how silly his voice really is, and just exploits it to his advantage even further, singing in a manner that not only makes him incredibly annoying to here, but also in one that makes his incredibly whimpering tone entirely too catchy and infectious.

Sonny probably will make or break the band for you. Sure, he isn’t forced out in the mix, but obviously his voice is just that far into the spectrum you’ll either love or hate it. Go listen to The Latest Plague now, don’t worry, I’ll give you a few minutes. Hmmm doo doo ok, done? So you didn’t enjoy his voice then, eh? Well then stop reading the review now, as nothing else I say will be able to turn your mind from what your impression is now. Wait, you in the corner, you enjoyed it? Alas, I figured I was done. Sigh.

The musicianship on this album is solid, nothing quite spectacular, but nothing that will make you turn your face away in disgust. The drumming on the album is fast and furious and probably the best part of the music; that drummer sure knows how to hit ‘dem drums. Derek Bloom balances keeping the rhythm of each song intact with some excellent fills, and the occasional violent outburst that honestly makes this reviewer happy in the pants. Wes Borland did do the bass work for the album, but it’s rather generic. It isn’t necessarily bad; he consistently produces fairly solid bass lines with the occasional fill, but it really does kind of make you want for more. The guitarists (Matt Good and Travis Richter) are solid, delivering some solid riffs and progressions while lending some solid solo’s on occasion.

However, when you really listen to the music, From First to Last isn’t a band so much about songs as wholes, but about epic moments filled with emotion and catchiness. Yes, a pop-core group that depends on sounding epic. What a new concept. Anyways, if you listened to The Latest Plague like I so instructed to you (yes, I demand far too much I know), one of said moments is present, as the screams just before the psuedo-breakdown (all you metalcore fan boys better not make a peep about my usage of that word) are just an absolute joy to hear. Possibly the best song on the album is the title track Heroine, where Sonny’s technique combined with the effects placed on him make for an absolutely haunting and gripping sound that will make you quake in your little musical booties. It also doesn’t hurt that about a third of Waves Goodbye suddenly turns into a strange, Nine Inch Nails sounding industrial break, that is altogether a breath of fresh air and just further advances the strange similarity in atmosphere the bands share.

Despite the occasion sameness one might feel listening to the album, and the rather introspective and at times storyteller-like yet far too angsty for much of the time lyrics, From First to Last have managed to construct an excellent darkly poppy and absolutely hXc album in Heroine. Much akin to Sonny’s voice, the album is at once cliche and original all at once. While it’s no groundbreaking effort to be sure, it’s an altogether enjoyable effort and quite the fun album to listen to, even though it would like to make you think differently. One can only hope that the rest of those silly “scene" bands will take a trick or two from From First to Last. Here’s to wishful thinking.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
plane
Staff Reviewer
July 6th 2007


6100 Comments


You are the master of informal staff reviews that are both informative and above average.

204409
Emeritus
July 6th 2007


3996 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

I was pleasantly surprised that FFtL had made great efforts to break apart from their past but upon relistening this is still a failure despite being a different failure.

Bfhurricane
July 6th 2007


6197 Comments


(of, you watch FUSE)

or? just a nitpick.
And nice review. I saw these guys live, they put on a really really fun show. Didnt bother to pick up this cd though, prolly wont.This Message Edited On 07.06.07

MeowMeow
July 6th 2007


662 Comments


I haven't listened to this in about at least 6 months, but from what I remember I really liked it. I might look for it again.

ToWhatEnd
July 6th 2007


3172 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the album is at once cliche and original all at once.
This sounds a bit awkward but other then that I enjoyed the review and agree with planewreq. These guys just won't be the same without Sonny but I'm still interested to see what their future material will sound like.

silver1
July 6th 2007


5 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great review. This album really struck me by suprise. I didn't care for their last album, but Heroine is an amazing change.
Sure, there are some corny lyrics, but the band really captures a dark mood. You can hear it in every track. The musicianship is phenomenal and the vocal are emotional. One of my suprise top albums of 2006.

byrkee
July 6th 2007


80 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

dear diary had their better songs, but this album is better.
and i think this band will be a lot better without sonny.
well we will find out in a few months.

jrowa001
July 7th 2007


8750 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this is an ok album. sonny's voice is ok but gets annoying after a while. their last album was ok too but i only listen to Ride the Wings of Pestilence.

Fort23
July 8th 2007


2480 Comments


i watch fuse...
kool review not a bad album

canadapantsman
July 15th 2007


236 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this review is basically perfect.

Confessed2005
August 25th 2007


3314 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

His vocals make me feel nauseous.

Mirror.Circuit
September 4th 2007


223 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

^this.

SuPeRpuz92
October 14th 2007


6 Comments


any song recommendations for this band??

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
October 14th 2007


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Note to Self, Mothersound, Heroine.

qscott777
February 9th 2008


77 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I have no idea why I bought this...come to think of it, I don't even remember buying it...but I did. I wish I hadn't. There's really nothing special here.
However, after listening to their new songs posted on their myspace page, I might buy their new cd without any regrets.

BroRape
April 21st 2008


803 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this review doesn't really tell me anything. you bashed sonny moore the entire time and still gave the album a 3.5.

i should probably buy it and judge it for myself. i loved dear diary. it's my guilty pleasure. is this as good?

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2008


16089 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha I remember this was a review I posted on an alt because I thought it was pretty gay

TrojanWhore
April 22nd 2008


752 Comments


Oh rly. How interesting.

I hope FFtL do better material without BoS Sonny.

TigolBitties
April 29th 2008


37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great album.

I LOVE FROM FIRST TO LAST!!!

kelseyOCON
May 5th 2008


2 Comments


okay now I've read so many great and realistic reviews on this website before and I cannot understand your review for this album. This CD is so raw. It's oddly crafted but I love it. I also love Dear Diary. Sonny sings about personal struggles which are very real to alot of people. You can't write a whole review bashing the singer the whole time. I must say new FFTL without him sucks horribly. I cannot listen to it for more then 10 seconds. Sonny on the other hand his solo project is genious in my opinion if you knew alot about him you could see it coming. I saw him live solo on April 10th this year and it was mind blowing. Truely.



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