It's feeling a lot like the early '90s, with rock acts selling hundreds of thousands of albums on little indies, and the majors out in force with their bankroll-operated cherry picker. Coming out of the fertile Long Island emo scene, From Autumn to Ashes' 2001 debut, Too Bad You're Beautiful, sold more than 100,000 copies on little Ferret Music, enabling a move to Vagrant. The band's sound is a mix of chunky metalcore, ringing, anthemic emo, and stadium-size alt-rock riffing, with anomie that couldn't be better pitched for alienated youth. If the tone is a little predictable, the music is not. Furious, Slayer-inspired thrash is that much more intense next to a power ballad ("Short for Show" and "Kansas City 90210," respectively, off the band's latest, Abandon Your Friends). New Jersey-bred openers Armor for Sleep aren't as sonically varied or explosive as FATA, but these musicians know their way around a hook. Their crunchy emo-punk-pop is well-detailed, so that while it's slick at times on the album, the songs come to life onstage.
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