The First Second
CD review: THE FIRST SECOND
By: Dan Brisebois

This Montreal-based trio combines heavy rhythms and thoughtful lyrics to intricate melodies on their debut self-titled CD. They put the modern rock into the current Canadian music, and are making noise making the music that's sometimes sorely missing from the scene.

A veteran of several local hard rock outfits, guitarist Stacy Burns ventured out on his own in 2003. He wanted to get in touch with a simpler, stripped down softer side to his music, but still keeping an edge. He teamed up with singer Jesse James LaCorrierre, whom he played with in several NYC groups in the mid 90's. LaCorriere actually already had a 'name', working in local television, and also happens to be the son of Dennis LaCorriere, lead singer for Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show.

The band's rounded out with drummer Eric Tschappeler and Frank Carle and Ingrid Wissink. Produced by Ralph Burns, the album plants the roots to a heavy, refreshing set of rockers that'll make you stand up and take notice. It's the band's chemistry that sets The First Second apart from a lot of the rest. They've cleverly melded stripped down melodies, but with a lot of edge. Their originality speaks volumes for the band's maturity. Violins and guitars combine masterfully in one of the year's highlights on the independent scene.

With tracks like the opening "Ego", they've crafted out a collection of tracks where there really isn't a weak link. LoCorriere's vocal prowess on the eclectic "Speak and Spell," "Dragons" and "A Blaze" penetrate you with provoking intent. "Winners Win," "Thugs" and "Fin" are all charged with energy with a flare. Demonstrating their versatility, "Another Mission" would easily fit on any modern rock radio station in the country. The same can be said for the stripped-down "Night and Day," with its acoustic rhythms, even bringing back the almighty cowbell.

"Art" is one of the more accessible of the tracks. Laid back and easy listening. But the beauty of the album is the overall diversity in layers to the band's music, and The First Second's biggest asset is their progressive stance on rock, ready to take on all comers and break all barriers.