The Front Bottoms’ ‘Going Grey’ changes sound but keeps lyrical originality

The Front Bottoms maintained their lyrical originality on “Going Grey,” and the pop influence even managed to add a really great compliment to these lyrics. (Courtesy/Twitter)

The Front Bottoms, a New Jersey based indie rock and pop punk band, recently released their album “Going Grey” on Oct. 13. Currently on tour promoting their new album, the band has been recently climbing in notoriety. “Going Grey” is a great addition to their discography, but it marks a significant change in the sound of the band.

The song “You Used to Say (Holy Fuck)” is a great example of their change in sound. With an increase in production by including reverb throughout the song, the beats and the energetic guitar makes this song feel markedly less pop punk and more pop and folk than what I expected from this band.

Songs like “Peace Sign” and “Everyone But You” have a similar sound to “You Used to Say (Holy Fuck).” Both songs have catchy and anthem-worthy vocals and instrumentals that will be stuck in your head in the best way.

I’m not going to lie, I was surprised to see a song called “Bae” on “Going Grey,” but this song may actually be my favorite on the entire album. It tells the story of someone learning how to actually enjoy a relationship, with amazing lyrics like “I learned that love tastes good, you shoved it in my mouth. I got all twisted up, you helped straighten me out.”

“Vacation Town” was another one of my favorite songs on the album. The song tells the story of someone wishing they could go on vacation with their partner, because it is the only time they can feel close to them. In this case, the pop influences did a fantastic job of juxtaposing the relatively sad lyrics.

“Raining,” the lead single of the album, feels more folk than pop. The track is playful and has several pretty subtle folk influences.  

“Far Drive” has some of the best instrumentals on “Going Grey.” The guitar in this song is wonderfully melodic, and compliments with the vocals extremely well.

The final song on the album, “Ocean,” felt a bit clichéd. One of the things that I really love about The Front Bottoms is their lyrical originality. While the lyrics began to improve later in the song, the clichéd theme felt kind of out of place on the album. This is not to say that the song does not have its redeeming qualities – its inclusion of background shouting vocals is a great touch – it is just not the best song on the album.

I have been a longtime fan of The Front Bottoms. My freshman year of college, I even met one of my best friends over a mutual appreciation for the band. With all this in mind, I was a little surprised by their new sound. As soon as I got used to the new sound, however, I started to really dig it. I am absolutely in love with the playful and original lyrics that are often present on a great Front Bottoms track, and I was happy to hear that “Going Grey” stayed true to that.

The Front Bottoms maintained their lyrical originality on “Going Grey,” and the pop influence even managed to add a really great compliment to these lyrics. Occasionally, I felt as if the lyrics were intentionally contradictory to the backing music, which made the song all the more better.

All in all, this is an album worth getting. While “Going Grey” is pretty different than what The Front Bottoms have put out in the past, that doesn’t mean that this album and their new sound isn’t still amazingly entertaining in its own right.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Lauren Brown is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at lauren.brown@uconn.edu.