One of the things we love most about running a record label is watching young bands develop and expand their musically palette. A band typically starts with a small universe of influences which grow as the band tours and matures. The ability of a band to successfully integrate these additional influences is often what helps them move beyond their original musical boundaries to create something that is truly unique. So is the case with San Francisco's First to Leave and their new e.p. entitled Through The Ice Curtain.

The e.p. finds the band improving on the punk and hardcore roots of their upbringing by infusing indie elements from early 90s bands like Pavement and Superchunk. The result is a sound that keeps the energy of the band's punk background while not being afraid to introduce a guitar solo or push a song past three minutes, all of which would be considered either passe' or taboo if they stuck to the typical punk formula. While other bands have followed this path before, few do it with the conviction of First to Leave. Lead singer Matt Foster continues to pen smart lyrics that come from the heart, thus immediately infusing the genuineness that escapes so many other bands in the genere.

Through The Ice Curtain will be released on Wednesday Records on October 12, 2009. The record was recorded by the band's guitar player, Ben Hirschfield, with additional engineering by Thom Flowers (Jon McKiel, Mad Caddies, The Ataris) and was mastered by Dave Harris (Portastatic) at Studio B in North Carolina.