My So-Called Life

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Unfortunately, despite the promising album title, this is not hunky Jared Leto’s band. Judging by the inset photos, not a single one of these guys can even hold a candle to Jared Leto’s yumminess; in fact, From Zero are rather ugly. Not to be superficial or nothing, but when your music is as full of affected angst and as devoid of distinguishable songcraft or hooks as From Zero’s is, you gotta be praying for Sassy to bail you out with a “Cute Band Alert,” which, in their case, ain’t gonna happen. So, sorry LA Reid, better get Babyface on the line to pen you a tender ballad, ’cause these From Zero boys ain’t gonna be filling your wallet with any Ben Franklins anytime soon. As for the boys themselves, maybe they can still pursue a lucrative career as one of those $1,000-a-night cover bands. It seems From Zero’s collective tin ear taints not only their own material, but that of others as well; they even make Phil Collins’ “I Don’t Care Anymore” sound like crap, a task heretofore accomplished only by Phil himself. So what are they to do? Sometimes as a rock critic, you gotta play guidance counselor with these guys, and ... aha! Yes, here it is, in Pete’s liner notes, poignant, moving: “I would like to thank all of the entertainers and musicians of the world who travel and perform tirelessly night after night, and to the techs and crew that make that all possible. A dedication to Grace Spence, and all of the children that courageously battle disease, abuse and hunger. You are my inspiration.”

Philanthropy! That’s right, boys; take that major-label advance and stop splurging on drugs and whores, much as we all need ’em, and give it to the children. They are our future. Put down your guitars and pick up the phone and dial up the Christian Children’s Fund. The world would be better served if

Stephen Priest writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

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