The Front Bottoms - My Grandma Vs. Pneumonia Record Label: Self-Released
Release Date: 2009
I'mma be honest with you guys - I hate reviews. I'm only writing this to support one of my newest favorite bands, The Front Bottoms. My Grandma Vs. Pneumonia was a pain in the ass for me to find, but it was well worth the monotonous internet searching. A self-released album from a New Jersey group with a punk-like DIY work ethic, this album captures the thoughts of a poor boy in the midst of growing up, tripping acid at parties, and falling in and out of love.
Let me begin by stating that The Front Bottoms are a band for lyricists and artists. Gracefully raw and simple, the band ignores the notion that music has to be "complicated" to be great, an idea that I believe is the principle downfall of many modern musicians. Singers are often "turned off" by Brian Sella's vocals, which are often compared to those of Blink-182's Tom DeLonge.
This album opens up with Flying Model Rockets, an anthemic sing-along that brings to mind a small room full of kids screaming their lungs out along with Sella. Brian Uychich's catchy keyboard melodies highlight tracks such as Christians Vs. Indians and The Cops, while his brother Mathew's fiercely dance-able drumming is present throughout the album. This drumming serves as a decadent complement of the lyrics on tracks such as Just As Big Twice As Swollen, which admits "I shouldn't feel like I have to protect you/I shouldn't feel like I have to entertain." Other lyrics seem to suggest Sella finds himself needing to move on, such as in Hello World, where he regrettingly sings, "but I am a grown-up/so I should find something to occupy my time/instead of notebooks filled with nonsense/looking for answers I'll never find."
Although often compared to River City Extension, I struggle finding anything to compare this to, although I would say that Sella's lyrics are like Soupie Campbell's from the Wonder Years, but under heavy influence of drugs of course.