The Front Bottoms. Snigger snigger. I wondered whether it was one of those phrases or words like 'fanny pack' or 'bum' or 'rubber' that has different meanings in English and American English. But apparently not. The name of the band and their eponymous first album are exactly what you'd expect.
The music is dance-indie-punky stuff. Fast moving and disarmingly melodic, the songs are sung with what, to these ears, sounds like a strong New Jersey accent in a kind of yelpy, half-talking voice. What sets it apart from any other similar music I've heard before are the lyrics...
From 'Father' - 'I have this dream that I'm hitting my dad with a baseball bat. And he is screaming and crying for help. And maybe halfway through it has more to do with me killing him, than it ever did protecting myself...'
From 'Maps' - 'There is a map in my room, on the wall of my room, and I've got big, big plans. But... One day you'll be washing yourself with hand soap in a public bathroom. And you'll be thinking, how did I get here? Where the hell am I?'
And from 'The Beers' - And I will remember that summer, as the summer I was taking steroids. Because you like a man with muscles. And I like you.'
These are, I think, incredible lyrics. Snippets of stories, histories, dialogue. They are personal, surreal, funny, inventive, confessional - though I don't really have a clear idea of what he's confessing to!
And that is its charm and attraction. I LOVE this album!