The Front Bottoms: that band that you probably haven’t heard of, but you need to. The band is a New Jersey based prize to the music industry, which has been dying for something new and vibrant with lyrics sharp enough to cut. A start up from 2007, this band has blossomed wildly throughout their career, passing fluently through genres of indie, punk, rock and folk music. Recently the band has released the Rose EP, which collects some fan favorites and new vibes to bring you the ultimate eccentric experience.
The song “Flying Model Rockets” sets off the EP with a truly unique sound. In TFB fashion, the song has an atypical structure. There is no catchy sing along, no repeated lyrics. Instead, there are two chorus’, with sentences containing more depth than the Atlantic Ocean. The band prides itself on blunt lyrics with hidden meanings, and the metaphors in this one show their versatility as a group.
The song opens with a strong drum beat, slowly incorporating guitar which continues until the chords become very aggressive and angry, which is how you feel when the song ends.
The next track titled “Lipstick Covered Magnet” is the first song I heard of the team, and prompted me to listen to more from them. The song starts strong with frontman Brian Stella yelling the word “Love” with only vocals. The line picks up with the drums and quick strums on the guitar. Soon after, some light piano kicks in and adds refinement to this upbeat single. The chorus of this song has truly amazing lyrics, hilarious if nothing else. He sings “So I’m gonna get on my knees/ would you kick me in the face please/ it’ll make whatever I say/ sound like poetry”. Take with that what you will. The next verse reverses the order, starting with guitar and leading into the drums. This is a definite kickstarted for any potential fan.
“12 Feet Deep” is another single stemmed from their songs, and is my favorite song by them. Seriously, I’ve made everyone listen to it. Clearly by this point in the EP we can realize there will be no sappy love ballads, but more blink-182 sounding whines of remorse. The song features mostly, if not only, guitar. It’s an acoustic set with that signature talk singing that the group makes their own. The lyrics really show a sense of desperation and young love that the singer clearly feels. Whenever this song comes on, I actually tear up when he sings “That is what I have to do/ to be the only kid from high school that is still in love with you”. For real, listen to this.
“Jim Bogart” was an actor in the 1979 hit “Apocalypse Now”. He is also the title of the next song. This is as close to a sappy ballad as this band will get. This song is a distinct track because it features a lot of trumpet and also a background female vocalist. This song makes a quick turnaround from a soft acoustic set to a loud crowd pleaser with heavy drums and keyboard and apace yelling. Toned with compassionated and complicated emotions, this song is very distinctive from others on the EP.
“Be Nice to Me” sounds like it should be in a 80’s film montage when it starts. As it continues, the longing lyrics override the happy tempo. The line “You’re a killer, and I’m your best friend” is said surrounded by silence, which provides a moment of suspense in a quick song. It happens again when he says “blackout” and “werewolf and a full moon”. The silence is accompanied by scary imagery. Theres also voices distantly heard when he repeats “driving me insane” multiple times. This is a song open for interpretation, but there is a lot to look for here.
“Awkward Conversations” is the title of the end song and of my life. This simple song is meant to focus on the words of the song, with nothing but guitar throughout. It’s an interesting relationship dynamic displayed in the song. It’s a song to think to at 3 AM if you understand that feeling. The prose are so raw and revealing that makes this a very important listen.
The Front Bottoms are truly a genre within themselves. Although they remain pretty plain instrumentally, the lyrics are nothing short of awe inspiring. The band shows upstanding variety and hopefully a long career ahead of them. If not, well, I’ll still be singing “12 Feet Deep” in 12 years, I promise.