The Front Bottoms – The Front Bottoms – Review

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I’ve always believed groups that have grown up from a young age together, have much more musical chemistry than those who searched on Myspace or Facebook for a few bums to fill out a roster. Jersey boys, Brian Sella, Brian Uychich and Mathew Uychich, have been friends since elementary school and when they decided to start the indiepop group, The Front Bottoms, back in high school, neither one of them could have predicted how well their disarmingly raw acoustic performance would be received. After Brian Uychich left to finish school, the remaining pair had to fill a hole and produce a compelling effort with the bare essentials. 

Two revealing EP’s left in the rear-view mirror, Brian and Mathew have finally completed their debut full-length self-titled record. And for a duo, their record is much more instrumental depth then most would have guessed. Each track, from the light acoustic intro in “Flashlight” to the keyboards/voicemail opening of “Hooped Earrings,” has a full compliment of instruments at their disposal. Obviously the duo’s live shows must disappointingly involve playing two instruments over a pre-recorded track (unless they have tour scrubs), but all of the acoustics, horns, keyboards, and percussion really form a busy set of tracks that puts other indie acoustic artists on notice. Which means, those who think crooning on the microphone while strumming some unplugged notes, will be enough alone to keep your hipster points intact, are now sadly mistaken. Plain and simple, it is really refreshing to hear an indie pop group that piles on the instrumentation.

The groups single “The Beers” really presents and amplifies the albums pros and cons fairly well. The track features The Front Bottoms‘ forte for the tongue in cheek, with lyrics like, “And I will remember that summer, as the summer i was taking steroids. You like a man with muscles, and I like you.” while the bands lyrics and bouncy guitars are at the top of why we like the band, both of our Jersey boys’ intertwining vocals hit so many flat notes, it made the song almost un-listenable. Of course we realize it’s done for effort and recorded out of tune on purpose for some reason (i believe), we still are the ones having to hear it again and again. Ok ok, so most tracks aren’t sung flat (more so being sung like they are being read a loud if anything) and mesh well with our cemented acoustic foundation. We also fancy the 80′s lazer-sound effects on “Legit Tattoo Gun,” and the laughable lyrics to go along with it, “And we were getting ha-ha-ha-ha-high, and I was smoking pot. I’m pretty sure that I’m the only guy she’s hooked up with tonight. Or probably, probably not.

So if you need a new indie pop fix of the acoustic variety, that doesn’t take itself too seriously, then The Front Bottoms have lyrics that could pass for skits by Dimitri Martin, and enough instrumental diversity to sound like four creative people hard at work. Songs that open up more, like the outing, “Father” take a few listens to recognize all the undertones, and add even more depth to the effort (even if they are joking about killing him along the way). But its obtuse nature both intrigues and estranges through out several spins. [Staff]

Score: 3.5 (out of 5)

Release Date: September 6th, 2011
Record Label: Bar/None Records
Genre: Acoustic Indie Pop

RIYL: Washington Square Park, Sundials, P.S. Elliot

Track Listing:
1. Flashlight
2. Maps
3. Looking Like You Just Woke Up
4. Mountain
5. Rhode Island
6. The Beers
7. Father
8. Swimming Pool
9. The Boredom Is The Reason I Started Swimming. It’s Also The Reason I Started Sinking
10. Bathtub
11. Legit Tattoo Gun
12.  Hooped Earrings

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