Release Date: May 21, 2013
Record label: Bar None Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Power Pop
With a style that's confessional, rambling, and above all charming, the Front Bottoms return with more of their endearing pop on their fourth studio album (and second for Bar None), Talon of the Hawk. There's a manic quality to singer/guitarist Brian Sella's performance that feels very immediate, as if every song is the product of a sudden burst of inspiration that was recorded just moments after it hit. The songs of Talon of the Hawk combine the best parts of a Fountains of Wayne album with one of those borderline over-sharing conversations you might have at a party after a few too many drinks, making for an album that's engrossing and just a little hard to break away from -- but in a good way, of course.
Talon of the Hawk, The Front's Bottoms' follow-up to their self-titled, strikes one of two emotions out of those in my social network. In the most basic camps, I've encountered those that are "into it" ï¿½?? the youthfulness resonates in a way that's both comical and forceful, and those that "don't not like it" ï¿½?? not turned off, but missing the simpler witticisms of the first record. I get both opinions, but I fall more along the former.
What is it about the state of New Jersey and lead singers who tend to overshare? The Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon and Titus Andronicus’ Patrick Stickles are the most popular torch-bearers for this Garden State tendency, guys who wear their hearts, lungs, and spleens on their sleeves in their songwriting. Maybe it all goes back to The Boss himself, since Bruce Springsteen’s first few albums were replete with wordy yet invigorating street anthems. Add The Front Bottoms’ Brian Sella to this growing and pretty distinguished list.