Talon Of The Hawk

The Front Bottoms

Bar/None Records, 2013


REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


The Front Bottoms have been milling around the New Jersey area for seven years now. Though they began as a trio before becoming a duo with Brian Sella on vocals and guitar and Matthew Uychich behind the drum kit, these days they've added Tom Warren on bass and Ciaran O'Donnell on guitar and trumpet. Talon Of The Hawk is their fourth album, and after hearing it I'm embarrassed to admit I was unfamiliar with these cats before. Like many bands before them from Jersey, there's a hefty amount of gritty and raw rock 'n' roll, only The Front Bottoms spend a lot of time with acoustic guitars and very literate storytelling. Truly defying categorization, this album could fall into so many into genres, though ultimately it's a sound all its own. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

“Au Revoir (Adios)” starts the show with Sella's quick strumming and lyrics that could make you laugh out loud. Seeing as this was the first song I had ever heard from The Front Bottoms, I had to wonder if this was a novelty band that existed for purely humorous reasons. That was quickly laid to rest with the synth friendly “Skeleton,” which, even if it's not lyrically much more serious (it's basically about passing out while stoned), let me know this is no joke. While they often keep a folky/punk vibe in check, on songs like “Backflip” and “Tattooed Tears” you just might trade the campfire mosh pit for a dance floor, as these tracks will leave you unable to sit still. Another pleasant surprise is the strong pop influence of the closer “Everything I Own,” though most of the disc is tuneful and easy on the ears.

When listening to this, bands like Bomb The Music Industry, Andrew Jackson Jihad, and even The Weakerthans came to mind, especially "Twin Size Mattress" where Sella resembles a young John K. Samson vocally. The light use of horns on tracks like "Santa Monica" or "Swear To God The Devil Made Me Do It" really add to the overall impact of this highly unique album, showing much diversity to these soon-to-be indie rock celebrities.

Whether or not you're interested in picking up a new favorite band might be out of your control here. The Front Bottoms has penned an album that just sucks you in, leaving you ineluctably smitten. Put this one on for a spin, you won't be disappointed.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Bar/None Records, and is used for informational purposes only.