Music Review: “Going Grey” by The Front Bottoms

Here’s one thing you should know about me: besides Fall Out Boy, The Front Bottoms top of my list of favorite bands. I’ve liked them for a couple years now, ever since someone I knew got me into them.

the-front-bottoms-tickets_10-31-17_17_59977013e5579

In mid-October, the group released their latest studio album, Going Grey. Since they’re one of my favorite groups, I was incredibly hype for the album. I was also hype because I knew they’d be going on tour soon, and I wasn’t wrong. They went on tour immediately after the album was released, and I have the privilege of seeing them (for the second time in my life) at the Fillmore in Philadelphia over my Thanksgiving break.

It was, hands down, the best damn concert I’ve ever been to. I’ve never had so much fun in my life.

front-bottoms-going-grey-raining-video-stream

I talked a little bit about each track off the new album below, as well as a few things from when I saw them.

You Used to Say (Holy Fuck)

Within the first song you can already tell that the band is going for a more polished sound than anything they’ve done before. Like I said earlier, I’ve been a fan of the band for years. Part of what made their music attractive to me was the fact that a lot of what they did didn’t sound that polished and was kinda rough. Because of that, you’d think that I wouldn’t enjoy their newer, more polished sound. On the contrary – now that I’m older, I find myself really liking the direction that they’re going.

Anyway, this is one of the highlights on the album for me. I like that this track opens with ocean sounds before fading into the opening instrumental. It’s a nod towards the band’s home state of New Jersey and it adds an interesting element to the music. When I saw TFB the other week, they came on stage to the ocean noises before performing this song, and it’s one of the reasons that I felt like that show was the best show I’d ever been to. They used the sounds to their advantage as a way to get everyone hyped for the show.

Going Grey is full of lyrically genius songs (although sometimes the don’t make that much sense), but this track has some of the best. As someone in college, I can relate to the feeling of “holy fuck, I’m about to die,” be it because of classes, work, or my social life. Even with the new polished sound, I was incredibly impressed with the first track on on the album and couldn’t wait to hear more.

Peace Sign

I’m telling you – there’s nothing better than yelling the lyrics “so next time she sees him it’ll be peace sign, middle finger,” at the top of your lungs, which is exactly what everyone was doing when TFB played this. To go along with that, everyone stuck up a peace sign and a middle finger during the song, and it was great. Trust me.

Honestly, it sounds like the stereotypical Front Bottoms song, but that’s why I like it. It’s a catchy little tune with memorable lyrics, perfect for a car ride. It might not be one of the standout tracks of the album, but it’s a good one.

You can see the music video below:

Bae

Okay. As much as I love this band, the fact that one of their songs is called “Bae” is lowkey cringe worthy. Despite my cringing whenever I hear lead singer Brian Sella sing the word bae, I enjoy this song. It’s not my favorite on the album, but like many of the other songs, some of the lyrics really speak to me. Two of my favorite lines come at the beginning and the end of the song and are incredibly similar: “when you realize the crew you roll with is actually what makes you anxious” and “when you realize the crew you roll with is actually what makes you nervous.”

I won’t go into detail about why I love those lyrics, but I do. But honestly? I could take or leave this song. Sure, I’ll listen to it if it comes on shuffle. It’s just not one of my favorites. But the lyrics really make up for that, even if Sella does say the word bae a few times.

Vacation Town

This track was released as a single back in September, a month or so before the whole album was released. When I first heard it, I was stocked. It’s upbeat, it’s happy, it’s great. Sella sings about missing the way things used to be, and I’m sure a lot of people can relate to that. I sure as hell can.

I’ve noticed that a lot of these songs sound really similar, but I find myself okay with that. Most critics probably wouldn’t be, but I’m not a real critic and this band is my second favorite band of all time, so the fact that a lot of these songs sound similar (to both each other and their old stuff) doesn’t really bug me. If anything, it proves that even though they got signed to a real record, they’re still making the same music they were making before, just a bit more polished this time around.

The music video for the song is a little weird, but what Front Bottoms video isn’t? You can check it out down below:

Don’t Fill Up On Chips

Honestly, when I first heard this song, I didn’t think I liked it. Since the first listen, and the subsequent 1,000 listens since then, I’ve changed my mind. This has become one of the highlight songs on the album for me. It has a catchy and upbeat sound, but it makes you feel like your kind of just moseying on in life.

It’s just a happy song. After two listens, I was instantly in love with it. Sella doesn’t have the best voice in the world, but it’s unique, and you can hear that on this track. And the amount of instruments that go into all these tracks? It’s crazy. If you listen close enough, you can hear so many different things. It’s wonderful. For sure a highlight for me.

Grand Finale

This was another track that I wasn’t impressed with when I first heard it. Unlike “Don’t Fill Up On Chips,” I haven’t really grown to love this one. I still listen to it, it’s just not that much of a highlight for me. I can’t really find myself relating to the lyrics, even if they are as smart as ever. It’s still worth the listen, even if I’m not a huge fan of it.

It was nice to see the group perform this song, but I was disappointed that they performed this one and not “Trampoline,” the next song I’ll be talking about.

Trampoline

This is definitely in the running for one of my favorite songs on the album, and I was incredibly sad that they didn’t perform it when I saw them. There’s just something about the sound of this one that really does it for me. Lead singer Sella sings about how “sometimes when we’re together, we’re not together,” and I feel like I can really relate to that. There have been a lot of instances in my life that I’ve felt that way, and the band manages to incorporate all those feelings into one perfect song. If you’ve ever felt the same way, it’s worth checking the song out.

I’m also a big fan of the synth in the song. It sounds wonderful. I just wish they would have played this when I saw them, because the ending of the song would have been the perfect chance for the audience to clap along while they yell the lyrics at the top of their lungs.

Oh well.

Raining

Besides “Vacation Town,” this was one of the singles that the band released early. The track is upbeat, like most of the other ones, and mixes both lyrics and emotions together well. I really like the ending chunk of the song, when Sella starts singing “Cause I feel absolute fantastic…” because it doesn’t really sound like the beginning of the song, but it still fits very well.

I was surprised when I saw them in concert and they didn’t play this song, considering it was one of the singles on the album. Like them not playing “Trampoline,” I was disappointed because it’s one of the highlight tracks for me.

Yet again, the music video is weird, but you can watch it here:

Far Drive 

This might be my favorite song on this album, or one of the top two (“Trampoline” being the other one). As the name suggests, it’s perfect to listen to during far drives. There’s not much to say about this song that hasn’t been said about the others. Sella delivers quick, biting lines over upbeat music that’s just perfect for dancing to at a show.

When they played this song at the concert, I lost my mind. It really is probably my favorite off the album.

Everyone But You

Another great song with a catchy chorus. Sella sings about hating everyone but one person. I don’t hate that many people, so I can’t really relate to the lyrics, but I like the song. It’s another song that was perfect for screaming at the concert. Again, it sounds like any old Front Bottoms song, but it’s endearing.

Ocean

This track is a great wrap-up for the entire album. It starts out slow, but slowly starts picking up the pace. I like the slow part, but it really gets good when it gets fast. Not only that, but the beach noises at the end of this song really bring the whole album full circle.

Even though the album sounds a lot like everything else they’ve ever done, I love it. I’m dedicate to every single thing this band releases. Going Grey isn’t anywhere near my favorite album from the group, but it’s a good one.

And if you ever get a chance to see TFB in concert, do it. It’s totally worth it. Even if they weren’t one of my favorite bands, I’d still say there show was one of the best. The feeling of being in the crowd, dancing and screaming all the lyrics at the top of your lungs, is one that I’ll never forget.

You can listen to the full album on Spotify below, or look for it on YouTube:

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s