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From First to Last
DEAR DIARY, MY TEEN ANGST HAS A BODY COUNT
(Epitaph)

From the morbid title to the pallbearers on the cover, this Florida bandís Epitaph debut reeks of screamo convention. In their video for "Ride the Wings of Pestilence," FFTL take care of the rest of the melodramatic formula: preening frontman, gratuitous guitar leads, lots of hair dye and eye make-up. Still, that song title is a keeper, and the group prove they have the skills to rock the punk party on the trackís brutal coda. Frontman Sonny Moore also gives his homicidal fantasy a chilling hook: "Iíll hide you in my walls/Your body will never be found." Recorded on the cheap in Georgia, Dear Diary is long on potential but short on memorable performances. The unplugged ballad "Emily" is one of the prettiest and most literal moments: "Thunderstorms could never stop me/íCuz thereís no one in the world like Emily." With his stratospheric voice, Moore could go toe to toe with Coheed and Cambriaís Claudio Sanchez, and he makes a convincing case for himself as a born entertainer on the urgent "The One Armed Boxer vs. the Flying Guillotine." But for all their talent, FFTL are still a band in search of their own identity.

(From First to Last perform this Wednesday, September 29, at the International Community Church, 557 Cambridge Street in Allston; call 617-782-8120. Theyíll be back on October 29 to open for Bad Religion at Avalon, 15 Lansdowne Street in Boston; call 617-228-6000.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: September 24 - 30, 2004
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