Review Summary: A really good album by a band that should be better
The Front Bottoms are predicated on one thing, and that is the charisma of their vocalist, Brian Sella. This has worked in the past, as bands like Say Anything have risen above their seemingly unoriginal musical trappings because of the sincerity and bite of Max Bemis, however it hangs a lot on the shoulders of one member. Brian Sella seems to be up to the challenge, writing clever lyrics and possessing a unique voice. The problem is not his, it lies in the consistency issues present in the rest of the band. The first four tracks on Talon Of The Hawk
are fantastic, showing passion and a flair for small flourishes, whether they be horns or synths. However, after the highest peak of the album, “Twin Size Mattress”, the band falls prey to inconsistency. “Peach” is a worse version of the earlier songs on the album, “The Fued” is a mediocre attempt at a song with a faster pace, and “Lone Star” has the distinct title of being the most boring song on the album.
The good moments are anthemic though. “Twin Size Mattress” takes a rather demure opening and builds upon itself to become a lung shredding shout-along that is almost impossible to not relate to. “Skeleton” is rife with witty lyrics, backed by a particularly catchy guitar line and lighthearted keys. When the band chooses not to lean entirely on their vocalist, they soar. It is possible that it has to do with the band members still being new to each other (half the band joined just before the recording of Talon Of The Hawk
), so it is possible that on the next album they will gel better. For now, though, The Front Bottoms are a pretty good band with some really awesome songs. Most bands never even get that far, so that statement is definitely a compliment, but there is that nagging feeling that they are capable of releasing a masterpiece. Hopefully Talon Of The Hawk
is a stepping stone on that path.