Label: Bar None
The latest release from The Front Bottoms is an EP of previously recorded songs simply titled, “Rose”. The EP in question is the first in a series of “grandma” EPs wherein the band are reinterpreting old songs and dedicating them to their grandmothers; the first EP being dedicated to drummer Matt’s grandmother. The original versions of these songs, while not officially released, exist on the Internet and are not all that difficult to find if you wish to hear them. Despite the fact that the originals are a bit rough around the edges they do display the burgeoning talent the band had even it’s earliest phases. So to hear these “classics” get proper studio attention is definitely appreciated.
Although all of these songs are technically just re-recordings the band puts a new spin on them to the point where they feel as if they are completely new songs. The lead single, Jim Bogart, is probably the greatest example of this; with it’s newly added female vocals and horn lines it almost doesn’t feel like the same song anymore. Although if I am being honest all the songs sound more fleshed out as a whole; the earlier versions sounding more like demos, good demos but still demos nonetheless. How influential Kieran and Tom’s presence as part of the current of the current line is greatly illustrated by this EP. Demonstrating how much they bring to the table when comparing both versions with each other.
Perhaps what I enjoy most is we really get to hear Matt kill it on drums in these tracks, really letting lose on the kit. The originals just don’t do justice to the man’s drumming ability and at times I feel like he is underrepresented. Also noticeable is Brian Sella’s improved vocals on these newer versions, sporting a more refined yet still awkward voice. This fact alone makes for a much better presentation than what is found on the earlier recordings.
As far as I am concerned EPs fall into one of two categories. They’re either totally amazing or a piece of crap. You have a very short amount of time to work with so one slip up can ruin everything. Rose falls into the former, as it’s another stellar release from The Front Bottoms that manages to give some old songs new life. A little something to help keep us satisfied until the next album comes out.