Band: From First to Last
Label: Epitaph Records
Album: Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count
Reviewer: Matt DiStefano
Recommended Song: Shake it Like a Salt Shaker
If you still have copies of the following albums: The Used - S/T, Story of The Year - Page Avenue, Dead Poetic - New Medicines; throw them away. They've been replaced. A band that disgusted me with their ridiculously sub par debut EP and tendency towards the mediocre, some lineup changes and an Epitaph Records contract later, they have been reborn as a major player in that pesky little genre that anyone who's never listened to Botch or Orchid lovingly refer to as "screamo." Songs like "Note to Self" and "Featuring Some of Your Favorite Words" rock in the vein of their brethren though From First to Last have definitely upped the ante and intensified the competition, especially for a band whose vocalist is just barely old enough to operate a motor vehicle. Mixing it up with some new sounds on the acoustic ballad "Emily" and (a song that doesn't nearly live up to it's stellar title) the almost industrial feel of "I Liked You Better Before You Were Naked On The Internet" From First to Last manage to keep things rolling through the breakdown-laden "Secrets Don't Make Friends" and "Kiss Me Contagious," a tune which could easily have been a b-side from Every Time I Die's latest. On the lyrical front, songs like "Emily" and "Populace In Two" reek of teen sentiment that I could have done without but is easily counterbalanced by clever lines sprinkled across the remainder of the tracks. Take the aforementioned, throw in a killer drummer who rides the double bass like a pony, a witty, sarcastic bonus track featuring hip-hop game-spitter Major League Player, and the line "there was a man from way back West/Desperado ain't got shit on me" and you've got yourself one of the most fun pop-hardcore/screamo/whatevs releases of 2004.