The Front Bottoms Loves You
Brian Sella and Matt Uychich have euphorically kicked off their 2012 tour,opening shows for such mighty indie rock heros as Say Anything, Matthew Pryor, and Kevin Devine. Throughout their performances, the New Jersey duo cannot seem to stop smiling, and that’s because they are doing exactly what they set out to do: play sweet music. Sella admits, “The number one thing that makes me write new music is the fact that it makes me happy. I love all the people I have met, I love Matt, I love all of the drugs I have taken, and I love to rock and roll.”
The Front Bottoms and their brand of indie pop have become a guiding force in New Jersey’s DIY music community. As Sella anthemically confesses in Swimming Pool,a track off of their 2011 self-titled release, “The Front Bottoms,”“I am a creature of a culture that I create.” The band doesn’t seem to be concerned with pitch, tone, or making the listener feel comfortable. Their motives aren’t supposed to be easily understood, but in spite of this, all of their constructions have been well received and greatly applauded within the NJ indie music scene.
Lead guitarist and vocalist Sella and drummer Uychich are East Coast bred and Jersey proud. Their creative chemistry is irrefutably captured during live performances where the two can often be found pantsless or possibly even wearing a dress. Their self-entitled album, The Front Bottoms, was released late in 2011 shortly after the guys signed to Bar/None records, home of indie rock legends The Feelies and Yo La Tengo. It’s not much of a surprise that Jersey’s leading independent record label caught on to the pair’s quirky, self-deprecating, rhythmic electricity and took them in with open arms.
The album is a culmination of remastered tracks and newer works. The stories within the lyrics can be considered a summation of Matt and Brian’s high school and post-adolescent experiences: going to parties and hooking up with slutty girls (Legit Tattoo Gun), acquiring semi-obsessive behaviors toward a crush (Flashlight), flirting with thoughts of suicide (Swimming Pool), and playing around with the idea of killing your own dad (Father). Just your average tortured teenage problems. Undeniably, these songs are set up to remind us of our own experiences, like being drunk at a familiar basement party, red solo cups and all. The Front Bottom’s most recognizable track and crowd favorite, The Beers, is a poignant illustration of angsty youthful desperation.“And I will remember that summer, as the summer I was taking steroids, cause you like a man with muscle and I like you.Sella’s voice cracks in half, “Cause it’s an aerial view from my house to your room,” leaving us vacillating in wonder, is this song a joke at best or actual honesty? Probably both.
The pair takes such awkward inward instances and couples them with cheerful rhythms, horns, keyboards, synths, acoustic guitar, and powerful beats. During live performances, Drew Villafuerte assists the two on keyboard and bass to complete their lo-fi rackety funk sound. In the song,The Boredom is The Reason, Sella sings apathetically about his quandary with everyone else’s drama, expecting more from his audience (“You’re part of the program, get with the program”) and more from himself (“I want to feel lethal from the inside, I want to read American Psycho again”).
As a result, their music has formed a community of young people not afraid to revel in the ordinary and dance to the pulse of the things that make us feel sad.