From First To Last have been hard at work the last few months writing, and recording for this new record. Ex-front man left the band, and they've replaced him with a new vocalist, Sonny. The new sound they've fused together with all of their influences is awesome, it's a lot different than what I was expecting. Their EP "Aesthetic" was a screamo CD. "Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Bodycount" is just a hard rock record. They dropped the whole scream-O thing. They scream on some parts of the songs, but it's not ridiculous like their EP. The screaming parts are in the right places, which isn't the case with most screamo bands that just scream every five seconds. This band does it with style and originality.
The record's intro "Soliloquy" sounds to me like someone trying to tune into a radio station that won't work. You can hear yelling in the distance, "HELLO WORLD, suck the life out of my voice and breathe it back into yourself"... then the rocking begins. "The One Armed Boxer..." starts out with a 4/4 tom beat, followed by a distorted guitar riff that leads to the intro of the rest of the song. The drum beat in the beginning is insane, sounds like something off of a Refused record. I love that part. This song is about how people talk shit on bands and try to get others to not like a band just because they don't. What kids don't understand is that these bands throw everything away (college, futures, etc...) to liberate people with their rock music on the frontlines. The lyrics read "this is urgent fill these 50 persons with a purpose but don't just give it away inspiration isn't cheap these days you better make them earn it". This is one of my favorite songs on the record. The outro is the drum beat of the song slowing down the tempo so it flows right into the next song without even realizing the song is over. I think that's a rad idea.
The opening of "Note To Self" is one of the most impressive parts of the records, because the drummer Derek is playing an awesome, creative beat, and whatever he's playing is really technical, and I love the vocal melodie in that part of the song as well. "Two roads split off from here and my life goes running in opposite directions exaggerating the barrier between who I am and who I want to be". This song has everything you need in a rock song. Good vocals, awesome drum parts, catchy guitar riffs, and even some hand claps. The outro of this song is awesome, they experiment with reverse delay which a lot of non-talented bands don't do. That is when you can play a riff on your guitar, and it goes thru the pedal and the signal that comes out your amp plays the riff backwards.
I really like the vocals on the record. Sonny and Matt both sound similar, so it's hard to tell when Matt's singing. But Sonny sings most of the time on the album. His voice does remind me of Bert from The Used, but only in certain parts of the record. I actually can't stand anything about The Used, and I think Sonny's voice is a lot better than that freak that dated Kelly Osbourne. The lyrics are all really clever on the record too. In one of my other favorite songs on the album "Ride The Wings Of Pestilence" (the single)... the lyrics are really dark... "ill hide you in my walls. your body will never be found. ill wear your skin as a suit, and pretend to be you. your friends will like you more than they used to".
The entire record flows really well from start to finish. They have a certain style to the songs, and none of the songs sound the same. At first I was kind of pissed that they put that "Emily" song on the record, but I guess it is a refreshing break, although being an acoustic song, it's still powerful.
The production of the record sounds great considering what they used to record with. A program called Cubase SX. Most bands now a days use protools to make their drums sound a lot better than they really are, and all of the drums on this record were recorded live. The song "I Liked You Better Before You Were Naked On The Internet" sounds electronic, but it's really Derek playing. I think he's one of the best drummers out there.
The secret song on the record is awesome, because it's one big joke, and it gives them an opportunity to show their personalities. They met some dude in Georgia, named Major League Playa, and he raps on this song too, before they go into some HUGE sounding breakdown where they scream "Shake It Like A Salt Shaker"! I think it's funny. After the breakdown...the album ends with some crazy sounding horror movie soundtrack type part that goes on for about 2 minutes. Really frantic sounding keyboards, and a computer voice continuing to say "Fuck You". You can hear water dripping too, which is a cool outro for the record. Even though this song is a joke, I like it.
There's a cool bass line in the beginning of the song "Secret's Don't Make Friends". I also think Jon uses a big muff pedal on some of the record, which is a cool effect that makes the bass sound really ballsy, and evil sounding.
Overall, I was really impressed with their debut full length. My favorite songs are: "The One Armed Boxer Vs. The Flying Guillotine", "Note To Self", and "Ride The Wings Of Pestilence". If you don't like it, don't listen... but I do. This band has a lot of potential, and I think their next record is going to be amazing. Although a ton of songs are rad on the record, I skip a couple of tracks but that doesn't mean you won't like them. I recommend this record to anyone who likes rock, clever lyrics, with a little bit of comedy thrown in. From First To Last is going to sell a ton of these bad boys and Kamtin is going to eat his words... "I can't wait 'til this band's record comes out and they flop".