Back and forth with the Front Bottoms
Published: June 6, 2012
Hailing from the shores of Bergen County, the Front Bottoms project the pure pop sounds of North Jersey, with a sunny saturation of humor and a catchy purity that makes them instantly likeable. "There's a quality to New Jersey bands, especially in the pop scene that makes them really friendly and approachable," guitarist and singer Brian Sella told the Current on the phone. "We always try and project that in our music."
Sella, who founded the band with childhood cohort and drummer Mathew Uychich, is a big part of that likeability; his lyrics give the songs the giddy-ups of a screwball summer romance, and his sense of humor keeps them from getting too cloying. "I try especially to make lyrics that people can interpret in a number of ways, whether they just want to read it on the surface or root down and find something deeper," said Sella. "And Mat and I always keep it simple with the music, so that message comes through clearly."
The band's sound is hard to pin down — though They Might Be Giants is an instant touchstone thanks to somewhat similar guitar-drum arrangements and a healthy dollop of quirk. They're a bit harder and rawer, and significantly less calculated, than their elders from NYC; there's a bit of minimal primitivism in the raucous guitars and Uychich's unexpected megaphone blasts. But the charismatic hooks overpower everything else and put the power behind Sella's earnest lyrics. "When we were recording, we felt like what we wanted to do the most was to please our friends," confessed Sella, who says the majority of the recording was done in borrowed living rooms and basements. "We didn't feel any pressure at all from anyone."
The Front Bottoms just released their debut self-titled album on the venerable indie label Bar/None, and are hoping to use the label's reputation, a strong tour schedule, and the power of ridiculously catchy songs like their first single, "Summer of Steroids," to make a name for themselves. "Every show we play is the best show," Sella beamed. "I feel like it just keeps getting better and better." •
The Front Bottoms feat. the Drowning Men, Rivercity Extension
7pm Sun, June 10
107 E Martin
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