Review Summary: Even if I spent 2013 listening to From First To Last in my car, I'm better off alone, than I would be in your armsAlbums in My Car: A Retrospective Review Series - Part 3
It's crazy how fast From First To Last fizzled out. They were one of the biggest post-hardcore bands around when Sonny Moore was fronting them, and then he left, and now his electronic project Skrillex is a household name and From First To Last are all but forgotten. Dear Diary
was a pretty big album in 2004, kids in high schools across America were learning acoustic guitar because of "Emily" (I know I was). Post Glassjaw/Thrice/At The Drive-In bands like From First To Last basically just rebranded Thrice's sound while making it poppier, but so what? It's a guilty pleasure album, it's really catchy, and I like to sing along to it.
Hey what's up with post-hardcore/pop-punk bands always having a drummer that's way too good for them? Seriously, Derek Bloom slays on every single track, and this album along with Suicide Notes and Butterfly Kisses
by Atreyu really got me into drums. The rest of the band don't quite live up to the drummer, but they're good enough. Sonny's vocals are raw as all hell and occasionally out of tune (which is great for emo fans like myself) but you gotta cut him some slack as he was only 16 at the time of recording. Lyrics like these are even messier than the vocals:
How do I address a letter to my generation? "Sonny" she said, "save yourself the postage."
Even if I spent 2004 listening to Morrissey in my car, I'm better off alone, than I would be in your arms
My God are these lyrics cheesy, but I don't care because cheese is delicious and it's high in calcium. There's a surprising attention to detail in the production which makes Dear Diary
a great headphone album, as there's always something interesting going on between the completely panned left and right guitar parts.
If you're a couple years older and got into post-hardcore between 2000-2002 when it was still slightly respectable you'll probably hate this and think it's "Thrice with gay vocals," but from my point of view, Dear Diary
is a great album that has aged surprisingly well. Maybe it's because of how much worse mainstream post-hardcore is now, or maybe this just hit me at the right age, or maybe it's just really good, but whatever the case may be, I know I'll keep jamming this in my car, singing along and having a great time.