31 July 2012

The Front Bottoms - the front bottoms (Bar/None, 2011)

The Front Bottoms are supposed to be just a two-piece acoustic-dance-indie-punk band, based out of Bergen County, NJ, one among many others, anonymous, efficient but not particularly remarkable, but no, their first album fro Bar/None records really simply stands apart.

First they are on a well established and historic indie label, just next The Feelies on the alphabetic roster, and not far from Yo La Yengo in the list. Next, even if their music is obvious there is a finesse underneath rarely met. Even rough, it's always emotionally precise, full of fluid positive energy.

I'm tempted to compare them to the Lemonheads, Smudge, The Mountain Goats, to Human Television, (early) Modest Mouse, Pavement & Bright Eyes or Kickball but they really don't need references, as they are mostly a band belonging to their times, dealing with immediacy and brilliance, able to perfectly translate their lives and feelings into songs.
The melodies are great, dynamic and addictive, the lyrics are intelligent, clever, deep and sensitive, the vocals hit the right vibe like rarely. There are imperfections but their hotheadedness turn these into urgent assets.

Most of their songs have a surprising anthemic quality and this album must be considered as it is, a all-time classic indie album in the purest sense of the term, celebrating the d-i-y essence of this style of music, able to be reinvented from scratch and rejuvenated by talented newcomers. Brian Sella and Matt Uychich deserve recognition and I'm blown away like rarely.


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