The Front Bottoms are my favorite band, hands down. If you’ve spoken to me about music for more than 30 seconds this would be painfully obvious. The Front Bottoms don’t really fit comfortably into a specific genre, but they’ve been categorized as everything between alt-rock to folk-punk.
With their career beginning in 2008, they are grandfathers to their genre of music, accompanied by bands such as Modern Baseball and Tigers Jaw. They have released four albums and two EPs, as well as music they recorded with their friends in basements somewhere in New Jersey before being signed onto Bar None Records in 2011.
The Front Bottoms are characterized by their straightforward, honest lyrics and raw music. They began simply as an acoustic guitar and drums, every now and then accompanied by a trumpet or a melodica. Over the years their ensemble has grown to parallel their musical evolution. The band currently has five touring members.
Their discography has a complex and somewhat controversial evolution. Their first album, The Front Bottoms (2011), is nuanced with a diverse track list and powerful narratives of the growing pains of adolescence. As they grew as a band, their music evolved from power chords and acoustic guitar to more creative use of keyboard and horns. Jumping forward to their most recent album, Going Grey (2017), the lyrics are a watered down version of what they once were. The album has some brilliant tracks, but as opposed to their other albums, their few and far between. The album has been described as juvenile and tired. I don’t wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment, but at moments it is true. They are experimenting with vocal filters and synthesizer which is a huge contrast to their older music.