the gang goes local …
We’re proud to stake a claim to The Front Bottoms. They’re one of our own — cutting their teeth and making name in the Asbury Park scene. However, since the release of their self-titled record in 2011, The FB’s have become a staple on the national touring scene and are on the very short list of bands about to explode onto the national scene and win a place in the hearts and minds of the musical masses. “Twin Sized Mattress” is the first single of their new record Talon of the Hawk, which hits stores in May, and the gang at The Singles Party jumped at the chance to show some love to their favorite locals. (Check out our interview with the band from 2011).
Kelly Gonsalves: Well, I’m in love. Maybe my view is skewed, having never heard of The Front Bottoms until this moment, but nevertheless, as a stand-alone piece, this new single is absolute gold. “Twin Size Mattress” takes you on a journey without you even realizing it. If this is the first The Front Bottoms song you’ve heard like it was for me, the first thing that will draw you in is Brian Sella’s awkward, clumsy voice that is surprisingly spellbinding. His voice drips with a blunt sincerity that gives the whole song a very human quality. The song itself is very narrative, amplified by Sella’s intriguing, bumbling cadence, as well as the juxtaposition of complex, introspective concepts with blunt imagery and purposefully hamhanded delivery. The chorus, so simple in construction and theory, somehow comes off as unbearably sad. The whole song sounds like desperation and regret, straight up until the powerful, peak of a conclusion settles back into melancholy. The Front Bottoms knows exactly how to fit a whirlwind of emotions into something that sounds simple and effortless. If I haven’t made it clear yet, you need to stop reading this right now and go listen to these guys. Like, now. Verdict: Add to playlist.
Jason Stives: I know I don’t really review a lot of it but I am actually a big fan of the current crop of punk bands coming out of the tri state area. There is an aggression in that music that combines swiftly and almost organically with the pop punk music that infested my teen years and bands like The Menzingers, Tigers Jaw (RIP) and the Wonder Years really do a great job with it. The Front Bottoms I have listened to before and while I know they have a very strong following their sound and overall lyrical content to me feels repetitive. “Twin Size Mattress” feels much like the stuff I have heard from them before with the waning subject of ‘best friends matter but I spend most of time not getting over you’ becoming really dull and uninteresting. The progression of the song works out fine and the repetition in the song is complimented well against the lyrics but I feel like I heard this one before. When are these bands going to find another subject to talk about? You guys talk about living life to the fullest but still talk about how shitty your ex-girlfriend was … change the tune, guys. Verdict: One and done
Lauren Stern: As someone who has watched The Front Bottoms’ success over the last few years, I was a little nervous when I heard they were coming out with a new single. As much as I knew it was going to be totally awesome, there’s always that chance of a flop. But I think this track made me realize more than anything The Front Bottoms are incapable of that.
The only negative comment I have to say about “Twin Size Mattress” was that it was pretty consistent to a lot of the tracks off of their 2011 self-titled. I’d like to see them spice things up a bit at some point. Maybe now just isn’t the right time for them but it would be cool to see them be more versatile.
But regardless of that, which is pretty minuscule by the way, this single just makes me more excited for more new music. Bring on the great tunes Sella! Verdict: Add to Playlist
Nick Porcaro: Indie hipsters rejoice! The Front Bottoms are here, and their latest single sounds like a straight-up fusion of the Mountain Goats and Pavement. This track never quite hits the peak it’s going for, but that makes it all the more peculiar next to the Arcade Fire’s melodramatic cacophony or the insistent crescendoes of Mumford and Sons. What we have here is less a rock “song” and more of a rock … “tone poem?” Interesting. Verdict: Add to playlist
Jason Kundrath: At first listen, Brian Sella’s vocal performance on “Twin Size Mattress” brings to mind the passionate desperation of Say Anything. But whereas every element of Say Anything is laser focused and razor sharp, the overall production here is much more stripped down and organic in comparison. So while it never explodes into a big-budget, technicolor catharsis, it’s real and beautiful in its honesty and relative nakedness. Even if the melody isn’t quite fantastic, I want to sing along at the top of my lungs. Verdict: Add to the playlist
Brent Johnson: Apparently, I’m not the only one who misses 1995. The latest single by New Jersey alt-rockers The Front Bottoms — an earnest, quirky, acoustic lament called ‘Twin Sized Mattress’ — borrows bits and pieces from Pavement, Weezer, and even Neutral Milk Hotel. And that’s a good thing. Does it drag a bit? Sure. But the music world today could use a little touch of the Clinton era. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.
Bill Bodkin: I became an immediate fan of The Front Bottoms when I saw them live for the first time in November 2011. They have this inexplicably infectious and immediate sound. It just grabs your spirit and doesn’t let go till the track is over. “Twin Sized Mattress” is classic Front Bottoms, but there’s this spirit of classic 90s alt sprinkled in here. This track would not be lost amongst a radio station from ’94 or ’95 playing all of Seattle’s best. Yet, despite this fact, the song is still today, still now and it’s a welcome breath of fresh air to a somewhat stale alt scene. Verdict: Add to the Playlist.
Final Verdict: The Front Bottoms have impressed most of the gang and we recommend you add it to your playlist ASAP.