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Music

Sophomore Slump: Chiodos, Protest The Hero and From First To Last, Apr. 22

Posted by Jenny / April 24, 2008

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“Well, I’m sorry you don’t like our music anymore.”

Matt Good, the guitarist and newly appointed lead singer of post-hardcore / screamo quartet From First To Last was being defensive – perhaps rightfully so. I had just told him that, after the release of the band’s debut, Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has A Body Count, in 2004, 2006’s follow-up, Heroine, was a rewritten and re-packaged version of Nine Inch Nails. “What were you thinking?” may have been the exact words I had employed.

20080422_chiodoslive.jpgThen again, he was being an arrogant prick as far as I’m concerned. When asked how it felt to sing former lead singer Sonny Moore’s vocal parts, he smirked and, with a dismissive hair toss, replied: “It’s not like he wrote them in the first place.”

FFTL were only one of three bands at last Tuesday’s less than stellar Chiodos headliner gig at the Metropolis that perfectly embodied the “sophomore slump” phenomenon, with Whitby, Ontario’s “Thrice-meets-Dostoevsky” hardcore / prog-metal darlings Protest The Hero completing the trio.

I hate the word “sellout.” I especially hate applying it to bands I used to love. Except what else am I to do when these bands start writing empty, irrelevant music – the kind of music they know will move units? Back in 2005, Chiodos’ All’s Well That Ends Well wasn’t like anything I had ever heard before. I considered PTH’s Kezia an example of stellar guitar work and lyricism. In comparison, Tuesday’s show felt like no one was putting in the effort. It was an all-around strained performance and one tiresome show.

One single individual remained true to himself that night. Ricky Terror, FFTL’s infamous merch guy, now 24, was every bit the dirtbag he’s known for being.

Admittedly, that may be a lousy reputation to have in the first place. Regardless, consistency is an admirable trait.

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