Review: Going Grey – The Front Bottoms

Opening to the sound of rolling waves and echoes of seagulls, a pounding beat paves the way for Brian Sella’s instantly recognisable vocals to launch into the sound of The Front Bottoms’ new album, Going Grey. Hitting the bridge of the first track You Used To Say (Holy Fuck), he voices the haunting thought, “Holy fuck, I’m about to die.”

Glittering electro trills burst into life as guitars begin to bring a sense of familiarity to the uneasy sounding track. This is definitely The Front Bottoms – but it’s hazier, dreamier and darker than before.

With the album announcement came the track Raining followed by Vacation Town. They provided a glimpse into the nostalgic vibe of the record, the perfect songs for reminiscing over summers past. However, listening to the album as a whole, there’s a sense of uncertainty that ebbs and flows throughout the energetic music and lyrics. No wonder they’re going grey.

Peace Sign provides a more upbeat track, typical of TFB’s quirky “fuck you” anthems. Followed by the fuzzy sounding Bae, the lyrics continue with the themes of unease and discontentment “When you realise the crew you roll with/is actually what makes you anxious”. These themes have always been prevalent within their music, however it seems that some the optimism they used to sing about has been gradually sapped.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, Trampoline brings some bounce (pun intended) back to the record, especially with their more electronic sounding experimentations. There’s a definite sense of evolution in these songs, without compromising the charm and emotion that lies at the heart of the music.

Songs like Don’t Fill Up On Chips, Far Drive and Everyone But You sound almost arena ready. Imagining the sound of thousands of people screaming “I hate everyone but you” as the music swells is spine tingling. These tracks will be explosive in a live setting, perfect additions to the band’s already stellar back catalogue of certified jams.

Going Grey heads to a close with Ocean. It begins with a simple acoustic guitar which quickly picks up the pace and screams at the listener in a jumble of frantic energy that The Front Bottoms are known for. The raw intensity and passion is intrinsic to their sound. “I’m scared” confesses Brian as the last notes fade out to the relaxing sound of reverberation and waves rushing, a serene atmosphere that brings us full circle back to the intro. This is an album that was created to be played on a loop, and damn, it deserves to be.

[5/5]

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