The Front Bottoms‘ latest studio effort, Rose EP, is another unabashed and overtly emotional effort from one of the scene’s most passionate acts. The first in a series of records named after the band members grandmothers, Rose EP is a collection of occult songs never traditionally released before and thus the record seeps with emotional attachment and reinforcement. Each track is gripping in its own way — the opener “Flying Model Rockets” is abrasive and as straightforward as one would imagine a The Front Bottoms track to be. While other numbers, such as “12 Feet Deep” are more subtly downtrodden in melancholiac sadness.
The record has an essence of realness to it that many artists try for yet few truly achieve. Hearing the cracks and breaks in frontman Brian Sella’s voice shows a juxtaposition to the message of honesty and transparency the singer is delivering with each line. The listener gets sucked in and can hear, word-for-word, Sella’s voice ache and swell under lines of such emotion. Lines like, “I would sleep better on your floor then I would ever in my bed and if your carpet makes my face itch it’d still be heaven in my head,” in “Jim Bogart”…those are the kind of lines that show the naturalness and emotion perfectly captured. These moments make Rose EP truly memorable.
There is an overall sense of song diversity on the record. Each track creates its own personal aural world that the listener can become engulfed in — no two tracks spin exactly like each other. “Be Nice To Me” has an upbeat tempo that you do not hear on “Jim Bogart,” and “Lipstick Covered Magnet” has an aggression not heard on “Awkward Conversations,” and so on. The band does a great job of sending the listener into a different aural situation with each track, without losing any of the trite geniality we expect from The Front Bottoms.
The record closes with one of the band’s most powerful numbers to date, “Awkward Conversations.” Sella sings, “I personally think it’s too cold to have the windows open but you want to smoke your menthol cigarettes.” The interpersonal weaving and webbing sends the listener on a eye-opening lyrical journey. It’s a number you don’t want to sleep on. Rose EP is a truly fantastic testament of the timeliness of and acute personality of The Front Bottoms, another great record for a band known for tapping into the strongest of our emotions.