Band Profile: The Front Bottoms

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The Front Bottoms are an indie-rock/ folk-punk band from New Jersey, originally consisting of only Brian Sella on vocals and acoustic guitar and Mat Uychich on drums in a set-up often described with the phrase “it shouldn’t work, but it does.”

Their style is profoundly unique and raw; it carries the simplicity and relatability of folk rock, with the power and emotion of punk. Brian’s lyrics somehow manage to be specifically an articulation of his own experiences, and yet at the same time feel as if they are common to us all.

After a number of self-released EPs in 2007-2010, the band finally put out a self-titled album with label Bar/None in 2011, followed by Talon of the Hawk in 2013. The latter of which contains the song “Twin-Sized Mattress”- a crowd favorite (and excellent representation of the band’s sound, if you’re looking for a sample).

 

The addition of Tom Warren on bass and Ciaran O’Donnell on guitar, keys, and trumpet, as well as the band’s move to Fueled by Ramen made some changes to the sound of their newest album. Back on Top has a more polished and electric feel, moving away from the simplicity of the solo acoustic guitar. While different, the album maintains the band’s standard of excellence. New favorites include Cough It Out, West Virginia, and Summer Shanty.  Even the B-side tracks (Ginger, 2YL) are fun and memorable. Although older fans took some warming up to the difference in sound, the overall response is positive.

Here’s “Cough It Out” from Back on Top 

In addition to fun and relateable music, one thing I personally really enjoy about this band is their music videos. All their videos are fun and enjoyable, without taking focus away from the music itself. Even now they seem to retain the simplicity and lovability of the early videos, which all look like they were made on an $8 budget. They, like the music itself, feel like they were made by really talented friends of yours, like this is something accessible and right here for you, no pretentiousness needed.

Check out the videos for BackflipFunny You Should Ask, and West Virginia  to see what I mean.

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