Wikipedia describes The Front Bottoms as “An American indie rock band that originated in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.” If only it were that easy to sum up this band. Trying to describe The Front Bottoms in one sentence is like trying to come up with lyrics catchier than Brian Sella’s; you just can’t. Yes, The Front Bottoms key the term American indie rock, and yes, they are from New Jersey, but they deserve a whole lot more recognition than that. I have never come across a band as original as The Front Bottoms. Before they were around, I don’t think I could come up with another band to be able to describe the genre quite like they do. They define the genre. They have created a new wave of music. There are almost not enough adjectives to fully encompass their sound and do it the justice it deserves. Emo indie punk maybe? Acoustic folk pop perhaps? Bummy guys with monotone voices and a trumpet? Whatever you want to call it, they are doing it right.
Everyone has a song that they feel reflects their life. Everyone has a song that they really identify with and feel a strong connection to. As funny as it may seem, “Skeleton” is mine. “Skeleton” is gold from start to finish. It wasn’t the first song I heard by them, but it was the one that stood out the most to me. Some more of my favorites include “Swimming Pool”, “Flashlight” and “Lipstick Covered Magnet.” The Front Bottoms often times shine in their lyricism in the verses more so than in the chorus. I honestly feel as if the chorus is there to give your brain a break before the influx of incredible lyrics that are to come in the next verse. My favorite thing about The Front Bottoms is how successfully they can paint a picture for the listener. From “crying in your sleeping bag” to “kissing your knuckles before you punch me in the face” they take the simplest forms of everyday life and create a story in which the listener is forced to smile or laugh at just how insanely accurate the words are. Listening to The Front Bottoms is like being in on a secret. It is engaging, alluring and no matter what kind of day you are having, will make you feel better. They are cool kids who don’t know they are cool.
With their 2011 self-titled album and their 2013 Talon of the Hawk album, they have set a high bar for themselves.. However, the new music they have been putting out in preparation for their new album Back on Top is just as consistent. They have released four songs so far including “HELP,” “Laugh Til I Cry,” “West Virginia,” and “Cough it Up.” This will be their first release with new record label Fueled by Ramen. The album is set to release September 18th of this year. They head out on tour this fall with The Smith Street Band in support of the new album.
Be sure to tune into WUSC 90.5 or wusc.sc.edu Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm to hear new stuff from their upcoming album.