As soon as I see something along the lines of “this is a DIY recording” – I immediately prepare my ears for a unprofessional thrashing of recording concepts – bass that’s too loud, close to zero panning, and/or vocals that are too quiet, too loud, don’t use any compression, and are generally pitchy – and that doesn’t even get into the drums. This record surprised me – the recording quality is actually clear – and most of the elements sit in the right place. They describe themselves as “pop macchiato” – and I can’t say I disagree with the assessment. The lead vocals sound a lot like Green Day’s Billy Joe Armstrong, and the music doesn’t stray too far on the experimental side – songs when they push electronics (Seashells) aren’t overpowered by the studio and contain just enough ‘live’ instruments to keep you from forgetting that it’s a band playing this music, not a DJ. Song to song I can’t say I agree with all the choices – the misguided rap rock ‘Minute Made’ falls on the cheesy side of things, but there’s a rocking slap bassline in it which (kind of) redeems itself – not by much though. It’s cliché chorus is enough to make me cringe: “trippin’ on these girls like they’re giving off ecstasy, I’m about to blow like an airborne hand grenade”…in less than 10 seconds that’s a shout out to 50 cent and Linkin Park – I have a hard time taking that seriously. Overall this is a solid album – and it’s definitely commendable to do a lot of things well, but my advice to FTP would be – pick a genre and stick with it – you can be pretty decent at a lot of things, but most of the time this means you aren’t great at any of them. Songs like None of the Below, Seashells, and Nothing Left to Break all sound like they could be part of a bigger, greater album, but the final two, “Minute Made” and “Of Man and Monster” sound like you all are just showing off your songwriting/arranging chops, and they are good, but they aren’t great and it would serve everyone better to grab an identity and stick with it. I suppose that in a way, this is the point of the album, the Definition of Deviation, but I feel like I’d rather listen to an album straight through than skip over songs that don’t “fit” with the rest – either way, this is a well recorded, great album from a good band; and I’m looking forward to a full length in the near future. You can find them at CDbaby, Itunes, and obviously Myspace.