By Keeghan Rouleau
The Front Bottoms
Fueled By Ramen
Throughout their discography, The Front Bottoms have given us a consistent mix of melancholic rock ballads with heavy acoustic guitar and backed up with, powerful, relatable stories, sung from the perspective of a sympathetic friend. They performed their self-published albums (I Hate My Friends, My Grandma vs. Pneumonia) with fun, optimistic passion. The two that followed, (The Front Bottoms, Talon of the Hawk) released under Bar/None Records, solidified their place in the punk/folk/rock scene.
Back on Top marked the switch to Fueled by Ramen as a label, and what some would consider the beginning of the end for TFB. With the release of Going Grey, The Front Bottoms have done almost exactly as the title suggests. The album is for the most part, a foggy, slushy mess. It opens up with the track “You Used To Say (Holy Fuck),” a dramatic track overly saturated with ambient noise, low kick drums, and juvenile synth melodies. The vocals are still there, and some of the riffs are catchy and original, but it’s all masked in this cloud of smoke, that remains for the majority of the album. The album does have some diamonds in the rough, such as “Bae,” a simple, yet very re-playable track with an upbeat drumline and happy harmonious backup vocals. My time spent listening to the album three, or four times, devolved into listening to the best couple tracks the album has to offer, and skipping the rest. It’s a very disconnected experience, and losing that relatable friendliness that completely immersed you in previous albums is a devastating loss for their aesthetic.Fueled By Ramen, Going Grey, Record Review, The Front Bottoms