It’s quite apt that The Front Bottoms‘ follow up to their major label debut is titled Going Grey. For starters the concept of the band “greying” is evident – they are maturing but by no means is what they have to offer getting old. This new album very much feels like an older brother to their previous material. The band’s DIY beginnings added a very authentic touch to their distinct brand of acoustic emo/indie punk.
Now signed to Fueled By Ramen, we can see some of that raggedy touch replaced with a more polished pop-rock vibe. On top of that, venturing into new territories of sound is always somewhat of a grey zone, and there’s never knowing how it will be received until it’s out in the world. The question is, how has the New Jersey band’s new album fared?
Despite the shift, there’s a clear attempt at preserving that signature The Front Bottoms sound even underneath the polish. It’s in the little things like the punchy guitars in ‘Vacation Town’, or the ever so relatable storytelling style of Brian Sella. The catchy ‘Everyone But You’ maintains that singalong quality we’ve come to know and love – it’s that feeling of putting your arms around your mates and belting out your favourite tune, but personified in song.
While Going Grey is a step up for the band for the most part there are a couple of rough patches, where certain ventures like the synth-infused ‘Grand Finale’ feels a little too forced to fit in with some of the other songs. However these minor stumbles are a little part in the big picture that paints The Front Bottoms as more than just a well-loved DIY act. Their sound is bigger and with it will surely come bigger opportunities as well.