It’s been, what feels like, a particularly lengthy two years since the last Front Bottoms album. Impatience, agitation, and curiosity is what the gap between the two has been filled with. Sure, a UK tour support slot for Blink-182 helped ease this, as did a mind-blowing festival appearance at 2000trees, but nothing manages to fill the void of new music.
The two-piece teased fans in the latter half of this year with ‘Raining’, a track that still holds The Front Bottoms distinct light-hearted instrumentation juxtaposed with a lyrical heaviness. Not long after, ‘Vacation Town’ filled up numerous end-of-summer playlists, with a sound that implied more experimentation with brass instruments on this new release.
Strangely though, neither of these singles foreshadowed the general sound of Going Grey. ‘You Used To Say (Holy Fuck)’ plays with electronic sounds, and ‘Peace Sign’ maintains a mellow but cutting sound. Even with ‘Bae’, the name itself seems unconventional
‘Don’t Fill Up On Chips’ is that inevitable, purposely nostalgic, summer track that seamlessly combines very faint elements of both 60s and 70s rock. ‘Grand Finale’s almost industrial and somewhat moody theme wouldn’t sound out of place on an 80s record, and these retro flashbacks continue through to ‘Trampolene’.
Lyrically, it remains as transparent as their past work. What you hear is what you get, and it’s still as refreshing as it once was to have honest, unambiguous words sung to you. ‘Everyone But You’ touches upon modern day overreactions with “deleted every contact in my life, built a fire in my mind” and ‘Far Drive’ explores millennial behaviours with “you take pictures of everything, so afraid of remembering” which is hard not to resonate with.
What’s most apparent when comparing this album to their previous releases is the fuller texture and significantly more ‘produced’ sound. They’ve combined handfuls of ideas from different decades with their overarching ‘Front Bottoms’ sound to create something unquestionably new.
Though the warmer seasons are over now, the themes heard throughout are simply going to make us impatient, agitated and curious. But this time, for what adventures we’ll experience individually next summer. It’s a new journey that they’re embarking on. A new era for The Front Bottoms that need fans to strap in and brace themselves for.