Further Seems Forever How to Start a Fire

When vocalist Chris Carrabba abandoned his Florida homies to pursue his solo/Dashboard Confessional project full-time (a pursuit that has led to much success, it should be noted), the band wasted absolutely no time replacing him. But with such a unique and immediately identifiable vocal and lyrical style that helped make FSF's debut such an impressive feat, would replacing him without losing part of what made the band great actually be possible? Yes. Although 21-year-old Jason Gleason is not the accomplished poet that Carrabba is (yet) and his vocal style is slightly more grainy, his contribution to this disc cannot be ignored. His torment and lovelorn angst is sincere and affecting. But FSF is a band of duality. The other, arguably larger, part of the equation is the music. Their debut was a masterpiece of disjointed, prog-rock time signatures and atypical pop song structures fused with infectious melodies. This time out, the songs are a little less complex although no less interesting. They have scaled back on the odd metering but have added new musical elements like strings and piano making a track like "On Legendary” grand in scale and scope. FSF is part of the new school of emo bands (that also includes the Juliana Theory, Coheed and Cambria) that aren't afraid to push the envelope. Clearly, though, these guys are fast approaching head of the class status. (Tooth and Nail)