Back on top?
New Jersey indie-rock duo The Front Bottoms are back with new single 'Everyone Blooms' and following 2019's 'Camouflage' this new track feels like a return to what the band are known best for.
Since their acquisition by Fueled By Ramen in 2015, fans of the emotional baby boys worried that New Jersey acoustic-punks Brian Sella and Matthew Uychich would cash in their sound and forgo their DIY, basement-rock style to keep up with new pop titan label-mates like Twenty One Pilots and Panic! at the Disco. TFB's 2017 LP Going Grey then was seemingly a blessing and a curse, with the additions of sparkly synths presumably satisfying their label, while the familiar acoustic guitar bar-chords made their defiant return on the record. The end result however, felt half-baked. Inoffensive and noticeably more deflated in tone, fans wondered if their transition from high-school emos to bona fide indie-rock princes had put a strain on the group’s creativity. It felt noticed by the community too, with the album receiving a lukewarm reception, many fans declaring The Front Bottoms past their peak.
With this new single however, the band has returned to the sound that defined the golden era of The Front Bottoms' creative output. Sounding like a single that could've slotted comfortably between the releases of excellent albums Talon of the Hawk and Back On Top circa 2014, 'Everyone Blooms' is a welcome return to an old sound.
The musicians commented on the new single saying
“This year has been a disaster, but we are pushing forward with positive and creative energy. We poured ourselves into making ‘Everyone Blooms’ and are really proud of how it turned out. We hope you like it.”
The song dropped with a fabulously psychedelic music video and a Twitch livestream of performances, discussions and various other quarantine-themed entertainment workarounds. A sign of the times I guess.
Each album release, music video and single drop all mark the progression in a band’s career, be it significant or minor in scale. This new single’s growth seems to be continuing the trend that the Ann EP set, scaling back some of the tried and failed distinctions that Going Grey attempted in favour of what worked and was applauded from albums like Talon of the Hawk and the group's debut. While the lo-fi recording style of their earlier years was left behind when they transitioned from garage to studio, 'Everyone Blooms' takes notes from the formula that Talon perfected and seems to be mixing them in with the more polished sound they’ve worked hard to produce in their later records. I dig it – maybe this unusual period of stillness and reflection has been good for these two.
Tom Keogh is a 21 year old English Literature student at King’s College, London. He enjoys making music, visiting the bin and supporting shit football teams because he got into the sport late.
Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based in London, England.