Artist to Watch: The Front Bottoms
If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: Why I Love The Front Bottoms
by Kara Curtin
“What’s a Front Bottom?” current fan Amber McBride remembers wondering when she stumbled across a catchy song by an irrelevant band on Pandora three years ago. “It doesn’t even matter what it actually is anymore,” she laughs, “It’s a lifestyle.”
The Front Bottoms are rooted in a small town in New Jersey and have a unique sound often described as “folk punk.” The band came together during their college years, and signed with Bar/None Records in 2007. “They’re just two dudes playing with old equipment and I’m pretty sure Brian wasn’t even wearing shoes,” Christina Murphy says, reminiscing on her first time watching them perform. “They’re not trying to be rock stars. They’re just playing the music that they love and having fun.” The Front Bottoms have been on a few tours and are gaining a steady fan base but have yet to become a household name.
Every single song is a song that you wish you could sing along to the first time you hear it. It’s something about the trumpet and fast guitar riffs and the occasional use of a cowbell that really gets a person addicted to their sound. “What made me a real fan was seeing them live for the first time,” explains Murphy. “There is just an energy in the crowd that you can feel, and it’s unlike any show I’ve ever been to.”
Much of the energy can be credited to the ingenious lyrics. Sella’s words make no sense, but at the same time they’ll provoke an epiphany within you. Poetic or completely nonsensical, The Front Bottoms can make the most depressing lyrics sound happy and can fill the happiest of lyrics with angst and anger. I appreciate how the vocals aren’t really about hitting the notes or sounding professional. The vocals are about the emotion behind the song. When you can hear their lips quivering through your computer and feel your own heart wrench or can imagine the red-face energy when Sella’s belts out a note and his voice cracks, it’s powerful.
“The vocals, acoustic, and drums are surprisingly an awesome combo,” self-described music junkie Nick Filippi emphasizes. “The drummer is freaking rad.” It’s difficult to describe the sound and feeling of The Front Bottoms. You won’t understand the hype until you’ve searched “Twin Sized Mattress” or “Swimming Pools” on YouTube.
I highly recommend riding the Front Bottom wave and getting stoked for all the new and exotic jams that have yet to be produced. I believe there’s a little something for everyone on a Front Bottoms album and would love to see someone prove me wrong. “I’ve seen them 11 times, and I’m still not over it,” preaches Murphy.