The Front Bottoms may possibly have the most childish name in rock music but, listening to their new album “Going Grey”, it’s satisfying to hear that, on the whole, their music isn’t as puerile as say Blink 182. In fact, listening to the jangly folk rock dished up by the New Jersey natives on this album does leave you with something of a warm feeling all over.
“Going Grey” is an album full of a songs inspired by those life experiences we’ve probably all had but simply don’t have the talent or interest in putting them down on record. Put to a soundtrack of easy-to-digest acoustic pop, “Going Grey” may sound light and jangly but dig beneath the surface and you’ll find Brian Sella pouring a whole load of angst into his lyrics. “You Used To Say (Holy Fuck)”, the album opener, epitomises this with its synth-soaked acoustic angst. “Bae” is an up-tempo number more in line with the pop-punk direction of Sella’s lyrics. “Going Grey” sees Sella exploring themes familiar to the audience this album is aimed at. “Everyone But You” epitomizes this – the beat is nice and sugary but the lyrical direction is far from sweet.
You get the impression listening to “Going Grey” that Sella wrote these songs as and when the mood took him. While far from being meant as a criticism, “Going Grey” doesn’t feel structured. It feels like a collection of moments or stories that really hit home with Sella. What this means is that, while musically, “Going Grey” feels a bit disjointed as it flits from pure acoustic to synth-drenched pop, lyrically the album is full of the kind of raw, heartfelt emotion that hits the spot every time.