From First to Last
From First to Last


3.0
good

Review

by David James Young USER (181 Reviews)
December 17th, 2008 | 74 replies


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Floridian fringes flick back and prove less is Moore...almost.

One of the most difficult things for a band to undertake is the quest for a new lead vocalist, especially when the departing one is arguably the most important thing about the band. Even if a band is indeed successful, they are doomed to never recreate past glories. AC/DC have never been the same since Bon Scott’s untimely death, a fate unfortunately also suffered by INXS and Drowning Pool (and let’s not even mention Queen). The remaining members of Rage Against the Machine learned the hard way that replacing a screaming dreadlocked activist with a former grunge superstar could only work for so long. Even Motley Crue were kidding themselves by attempting to create an album without Vince Neil (their album with John Corabi is easily amongst the band’s worst).

Up to this point of their careers, From First to Last has arguably been best known for their (now former) lead singer, Sonny Moore. Moore, all of sixteen when he joined the band, whined and howled his way through two mostly awful records (2003’s horribly titled Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count, and 2005’s horrible sounding Heroine). This time around, on the band’s third record, founding member and guitarist Matt Good has taken over lead vocal duties and, luckily for the band, it has paid off. From First To Last is easily the band’s best work thus far, packed with a new-found rock energy that is far more listenable than either of their previous efforts.

The main factor in the change of FFTL’s sound has been Matt Good’s switch to lead vocals. While Moore preferred to wail above his vocal range (which was limited at best), Good thankfully has a little more control over his voice. It isn’t a distinguishable voice, or even an overly-skilled one (at times, he is shaky and unsure of his depth), and his screamed vocals certainly could use some articulation and strength.

Still, he is not completely unlistenable (like his predecessor), and creates melodies that are solid enough foundation to keep the listener interested. The vocal hooks of opener “Two As One”, the dance-infused “Deliverance!” and the dark, post-grunge waltz of “Medicinal Reality” are all delivered with a surprising vigour and liveliness that feels authentic rather than forced.

Another surprise is the above-average proficiency of drummer Derek Bloom. He seems bored with the simple 2/4 patterns that plague his peers, instead flaunting a range of high-energy, fast-paced fills that force the song’s rhythm out of the background and into the spotlight. See the tom rolls on lead single “Worlds Away” and the cymbal-heavy thrash around the kit on “The Other Side” for just some of what Bloom is capable of.

Of course, the band are not without serious issues, even when they are on the road to self-improvement. The foremost issue that is to be had with From First to Last is its top-heaviness. Every highlight of the record is found within the first five tracks, leaving the bulk of what is left to be lackluster and samey. Sure, “Deliverance!” has a great, stomping beat and some nice guitar chirps through its verses, whilst its follow-up “I Was Lost, But Now Am Profound” is a certain crowd-pleaser with some nice chorus harmonies and a cameo guitar solo. There’s just something about the second half of the record, however, that feels directionless and uninspired. “A Perfect Mess” suffers from atrocious lyrics (“Well, well, well/With a woman like you/Who needs to get out of bed?”) and underwhelming musicianship, and closer “In Memorium In Advance” manages to expose all of the band’s weaknesses in just under two minutes- and it’s an acoustic track.

From First to Last are still evidently struggling to establish their own identity as a band, and there is still plenty of room for improvement. Nevertheless, the album is a bold step in a new direction, and is definitely worth a listen. Let’s do exactly the opposite of what the band does lyrically and think positively for a second here: a new vocalist, some killer songs and a new vouch on band lifespan. Things can only get better from here, right?



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user ratings (284)
Chart.
2.6
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other reviews of this album
Michael Roberts (2)
From First to Last’s self titled third record is at times underwhelming, inconsistent and almost a...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Vooligan
December 17th 2008


3541 Comments


exquisite review david. though i dont think i would like this

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 17th 2008


17920 Comments


still can't believe you hate sonny moore and like this shit.

SlaveLabor
December 17th 2008


453 Comments


This band sounds kinda like Madonna

Spamue1G
December 17th 2008


1292 Comments


Well, if there's hope for improvement, maybe I'll check out these guys' next album. Great formatting, concise, and unlike most reviews (not necessarily a criticism of the other reviews, just of my own ridiculously short attention span) I didn't feel bored at any point whilst reading it. Maybe more is needed on the instrumentation compared to the vocals etc., but I got a pretty good idea of what this sounds like anyway.

Fugue
December 17th 2008


7353 Comments


Brilliant review David, I don't see myself checking this out any time soon.

Zippermouth
December 17th 2008


1305 Comments


I got to disagree with you man, Moore was a pretty decent vocalist, took some getting used to though. This was by far their worst.

PigDestroyer89
December 17th 2008


669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

This is a horrible album...Heroine was way better

VicariousIntent
December 17th 2008


1594 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

Good review...awful awful awful album. It's astounding how lazy the band sounds after Sonny's absence. I VERY strongly dislike this record...but maybe a lot of it has to do with my disappointment at Sonny's absence from the record, I'll admit that. I just hate this album so damn much.

AtavanHalen
December 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't get how you guys liked Sonny so much; he pretty much makes me cringe with everything he sings.

PigDestroyer89
December 17th 2008


669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Sonny is not a good singer, not by a long shot...he is just a better and more fitting singer for FFTL

AtavanHalen
December 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah, but how so? That's the 64,000 dollar question.

tombits
December 17th 2008


3470 Comments


They're better without Sonny Moore.

Still terrible though.

PigDestroyer89
December 17th 2008


669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Because Matt Good is just painfully average....well I don't have a rock solid argument, but I prefer Sonny

marksellsuswallets
December 17th 2008


4848 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

There isn't a good, solid reason why Sonny fit better, he just did. Either way, this album is a bad bad album.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 17th 2008


17920 Comments


sonny was better because he wasn't a chubby douchefag like matt good.

AtavanHalen
December 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Lol, none of you have decent arguments.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 17th 2008


17920 Comments


i like sonny's voice. i don't like matt good's voice.

is that good enough

AtavanHalen
December 17th 2008


17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

It's better than "chubby douchefag", so it's a start.
But it needs a lil' improvement

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
December 17th 2008


17920 Comments


how about killyourselfthatsanimprofvemnt

PigDestroyer89
December 17th 2008


669 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

^lol...lets just talk about how much this album sucksThis Message Edited On 12.17.08



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