Goodbye.Sudden and unexpected, that’s an odd way to begin a conversation—but a cool way to start an album.The first track on The Front Bottoms’ Talon of the Hawk is cleverly titled “Au Revoir (Adios).”It starts off at a fair pace with a steady beat, then abruptly becomes much louder and more chaotic.This appropriately reflects the rest of the album, which fluctuates in both sound and theme throughout.
In 2007, The Front Bottoms formed in New Jersey.The current band members Brian Sella (vocals and guitar), Mathew Uychich (drums), Ciaran O’Donnell (trumpet, keyboard, and guitar), and Tom Warren (bass and backing vocals) come together to create music that has been classified as several genres from indie rock to folk/pop punk to emo.Each album is known to sound much different than the last, and it’s interesting to witness how they continue to grow as artists.
Talon of the Hawk was recorded with Bar/None Records, although the band is now signed to Fueled by Ramen, along with more recognizable groups like Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and Twenty One Pilots.
The most noteworthy track on Talon of the Hawk is “Twin Size Mattress.”It’s a touching piece about learning from past events and dealing with the consequences.The song is full of metaphors and other beautiful, poetic language like in the line, “Make sure you kiss your knuckles before you punch me in the face.”With closed eyes, all the events play out in your head, even though you didn’t experience them personally.It’s easy to connect to lyrics by The Front Bottoms, but difficult to explain why.The album is very diverse, including songs like “Skeleton” and “The Feud” that are fast-paced with lighter lyrics alongside “Backflip” which encourages listeners to consider how they go through life.
Despite the eccentricity of the work, Talon of the Hawk is probably not The Front Bottoms’ best album.For instance, it lacks the stability of their self-titled album, which had strong, meaningful lyrics and a consistent sound in most, if not all, songs.Still, this album has its positive aspects.It introduces new concepts and tells interesting stories of regret and perseverance during hard times, some of which are inspired by strangers or friends.The artists really succeed to immerse the listener in a whole new perspective.
The first songs I’ve ever heard by The Front Bottoms were on this album, and they’re my favorite artists.Constantly (obsessively) listening to the band allows me to appreciate even the most insignificant-seeming details, like Brian Sella’s rough-around-the-edges voice and the unnecessary overuse of the words “probably” and “uncomfortable.”Talon of the Hawk is a great album to rediscover and play on repeat, whilst grinning stupidly from all the weird nostalgia.
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