Audio Mixers: Sean Rolie; Chris "Frenchie" Smith .
Recording information: Lake House Recording Studio, Asbury Park, NJ (04/01/2014).
New Jersey folk-punk duo the Front Bottoms follow up their 2013 Talon of the Hawk LP (a reference to stoic Twin Peaks character Deputy Hawk) with a six-song EP of previously unrecorded fan favorites titled Rose (a reference to drummer Mat Uychich's grandmother Rosemary). It is the inaugural release of what is proposed to be a set of EPs all named after the bandmembers' grandmothers, and strange as that may seem, this is not the first time a grandma has gotten her due on a Front Bottoms release. Their self-released second album, My Grandma vs. Pneumonia, plus a whole lot of touring eventually led to the band signing a deal with Bar None Records in 2011. When they're not watching Twin Peaks or paying tribute to their grandmas, Brian Sella and Mat Uychich are writing shambly, idiosyncratic pop songs like "Flying Model Rockets" and "Awkward Conversations," which are sung in an affected, pushy manner over aggressively strummed acoustic guitars and thumping drums. There's a somewhat comic, ironic tone to Sella's delivery that owes as much to SoCal pop punk as it does to D.I.Y. heroes like the Mountain Goats and Neutral Milk Hotel. While his lightly surrealist lyrical rants about the minutiae of his world are an acquired taste, there is a charm to these songs, many of which have become oft-requested at gigs or shown up in bootlegged YouTube form yet never received a proper release. You can imagine "Lipstick Covered Magnet" broadcasting its hearty, ragged pulse out over a sweaty crowd as fans get swept up in its chorus of "I'm gonna get on my knees, would you kick me in the face please." Elsewhere, the spunky rhythm of "Be Nice to Me" feels like it could be a latter day descendent of the Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl." ~ Timothy Monger
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