When we’re young we have a carefree mentality. Our biggest concerns are what would my friends think? What am I going to do with my summer? Once we leave our school years behind we’re faced with a different set of concerns.
For the gents that make up The Front Bottoms, we’re given a mature perspective on the concerns we used to have. The pop duo fromNew Jersey has compiled a list of quirky love stories, retrospective odes to old friends, and ambiguous dreams.
Their self titled debut album takes the aforementioned list and imbeds them into twelve tracks of acoustic punk rock, stringed arrangements, and a healthy number of breakdowns. Their idiosyncratic lyrics undermine the upbeat poppy feel driven throughout the album. “Flashlight” eases the album open into the lyrics “Please fall asleep/ so I can take pictures of you/ and hang them in my room.” Although there is the underlying almost creepy feeling in these words, they contribute themselves to a much less eerie ballad of a relationship falling apart. This trend continues on within the album developing borderline juvenile lyrics with an underlying mature context about them. “Mountain” drifts upon lonesome horn before picking up into “I am climbing/ up this mountain/ so I can ride my skateboard/ right back down it” and goes on to plead to gods of summer to help them smuggle a big bag of fireworks from Pennsylvania.
The Front Bottoms creates a fun, enticing atmosphere with their music. Brian Sella’s vocals are everything you’re looking for from a pop punk lead man; he enunciates the lyrics and chooses words from a sophisticated category. Mathew Uychich picks up his drum sticks and keeps up with the heartbreak and fun that ensues. Their superficial pop-punk of youthful angst is a canvas painted with honest real-life lyrics, creating an optimistic work of art. This front is a risky proposition that could prove to be their downfall. Their music will draw in those looking for an instant fix but may repel many who would find entertainment within the bright writing, due to it being buried deep down. We as fans of good music should not let this simply fall on those who may waste it.
Despite repetitive count-ins opening tracks and the usual appearance, there is really something great here. This duo, that have been friends since they were ten, proudly wear their emotions on their sleeves as they approach the “you’re only as old as you feel” mentality. Proving that even if your worries mature, your music doesn’t have to.