The Advocate

A lesson in music history: The Front Bottoms

Photo by Elyse Nitschke

Photo by Elyse Nitschke

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It’s always neat knowing the history behind the music. To follow up an article from The Advocate’s printed November edition highlighting their tour and new album, here is a full online article giving some background to the punk rock group The Front Bottoms.

The group is, technically, made up of singer and songwriter Brian Sella and drummer Matt Uychich, though while on tour and recording, have help from many crew members. The two came together in their hometown of Bergen County, N. J. after casually playing music together as friends since they were young. Shortly after Sella entered college in 2007, the two decided to officially play and write under the name The Front Bottoms.

In the years following their formation, the two, with the help of Uychich’s brother (also named Brian), self-released a collection of albums and EPs, most notably the full length album I Hate My Friends, which was released in 2008. Their self-released EP, Brothers Can’t Be Friends, released later the same year, added to their growing setlist for tours across the underground and self-made scene of New Jersey, gaining them a broad fanbase. They also went on to release their second album My Grandma vs. Pneumonia and 30 copies of a short, handmade cassette titled Calm Down and Breathe, both in 2009. Later, in an effort to focus on school, Uychich’s brother left the group in 2010, leading Sella and Uychich to cycle through various tour mates, from Drew Villafuerte (who left in 2012) to the current crew of Tom Warren and Ciaran O’Donnell (with other possible, but not confirmed mates). Regardless, the material they recorded and released prior to 2010, before they signed to any label, still stands as some of their most raw, honest and anthemic pieces.

The Front Bottoms officially signed to the label Bar/None Records June 2, 2011, but only after beginning to write material for their coming self-titled album. Using songs from early EPs Grip N’ Tie and Slow Dance to Soft Rock (both from 2010) The Front Bottoms recorded and released their first full-length, studio released album: The Front Bottoms. While still signed with Bar/None Records, the Front Bottoms also later released the full-lengthed Talon of the Hawk, as well as featured EPs: Summer of Steroids, a two song 7”; Rose, most noticed for giving new life to old songs; and Liberty and Prosperity, a 7” split with New Jersey rapper GDP.

Following the end of their contract with Bar/None, the Front Bottoms took up the label Fueled by Ramen in 2015, under which they released their next two albums Back on Top, released Sept. 18, 2015, and their latest Going Grey, released Oct. 13 of this year. Both of the later two albums offered a different sound from what their audience was used to, as throughout the progression of The Front Bottoms’ material Sella’s voice not only became more mature, but it also took on a different tone. And with his voice, the music and instrumentals changed as well. Some fans and reviews note the more “rendered” and “polished” sound of the later two albums, as compared to their earlier self-recorded angst, but still agree that The Front Bottoms have created a unique sound that keeps them asking for more.

The group, currently on tour, shows no signs of slowing down, and “The Front Bottoms” is sure to become a household name.

About the Writer
Elyse Nitschke, Opinion's Editor
Opinions editor Elyse Nitschke is a senior at WHS and a sort of avid marching band member. Music is her life, and her doggo Willie is her love. Aside from the obligations of school, hobbies Elyse enjoys include art, writing trashy music and listening to classic hits like “Liebestod” by Richard Wagner.
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A lesson in music history: The Front Bottoms