The Front Bottoms forever!
9Overall Score

The Front Bottoms, Fairbanks, Alaska
Fueled By Ramen

We’re just a week away from the release of In Sickness and In Flames, the new album from our favourite nü-emo icon folk-punks The Front Bottoms, and the latest couple of tastes are as enticing as everything we’ve heard from them yet. TFB are famed for their confessional gems of lyrical realism, gang-vocal singalong apexes, and enormously heart-warming vibes that never falter. Lead singles camouflage and everyone blooms delivered in swathes, and montgomery forever and Fairbanks, Alaska continue that same trajectory.

montgomery forever, the song that heralded the news of In Sickness and In Flames, is up there at peak Front Bottoms levels. Jaunty acoustic guitar, winding riffs, and half-spoken half-sung lyrics delivered with spades of natural charm and heartfelt honesty – recipe for a sensational tune. montgomery forever feels like a comfort blanket; Brian Sella’s wonderful vocals and The Front Bottoms’ trademark cheerful melancholy is somehow both laidback and cathartic to the core. (And lyrics about a virus feel only more tongue-in-cheek, as does the surreal ode to not getting drug tested at the end).

Fairbanks, Alaska, is once again classic TFB. Acoustic guitar, check. Wide-eyed, cautious-yet-unbounded optimism, check. The lyrics refer to the Northern Lights in the title locale, and listening to the track creates the same vibe of awe and elation that viewing them might do, and catharsis is once again central and raw to the song. Lyrics like “I don’t think it’s fair that I’m stuck here having surgery, for something that you did to me, while you run around” are in stark contrast to the always-friendly tone of Sella’s voice, but they’re all the more vivid and pained for it.

There’s no doubt about it. In Sickness and In Flames is guaranteed to explode with the same eager joy and richness of emotion that we know and love from The Front Bottoms. There are the makings of yet another beloved emo-folk record ready and primed to go, and we can’t wait to take it all in.

In Sickness And In Flames is out Friday 21st August.