By MIKE CHAIKEN
The Front Bottoms decided to do things differently for its new album, “Talon of the Hawk.”
The New Jersey-based band comes to Hamden’s The Space on July 10 at 7 p.m. for a sold out show.
Although it’s like asking a parent to comment on his/ her child, The Front Bottoms’ singer, Brian Sella was asked what he was most proud of about The Front Bottoms’ new album.
“We had done it in a studio and we worked with a producer (Chris ‘Frenchie’ Smith), instead of a warehouse,” said Brian, calling from a tour stop in Portland, Ore.
And listening to the final product, Brian said he loved the quality of the sound, especially for the instrumentation.
“This is awesome,” was his reaction to “Talon of the Hawk,” said Brian. “This is a step up.”
Additionally, Brian said, the band put more time and polish into its songwriting.
Prior to “Talon,” Brian said the Front Bottoms would toss off their new songs. They would get an idea, and record it. And then they’d be done with the track and move on.
For “Talon of the Hawk,” Brian said the band—which also includes fellow founding member Matt Uychich on drums, as well as new members Tom Warren on Bass, and Ciaran O’Donnel on keys, trumpet, and guitar— would play new tracks live on stage for a while, eventually demo them, and then listen to the results. If there wasn’t something that didn’t quite work, they went back and changed things up to make the song better.
Brian also said recording the album with new members Tom and Ciaran also helped matters. They provided an extra set of ears. Tom and Ciaran often would pick up on something he and Matt might have missed.
“They made a world of difference (on the new album),” said Brian.
The Front Bottoms did some things differently for “Talon of the Hawk,” but listening to the album, it’s clear they didn’t give up one of their hallmarks. Their songwriting is quirky and clever as always. Just listen to the opening track, “Au Revoir (Adios).” Press materials describe it as “snarky,” and it’s an apt description.
Brian said it was never really an option in leaving that dimension of the band behind. “It’s sort of what we do,” said Brian of The Front Bottoms’ quirky and wacky nature. “That’s our style. It’s not a conscious decision.”
The Front Bottoms have been a constant on the road since their self-titled album. All that time on the road, said Brian, has helped improve the band as musicians. The band is much tighter now. He said the band members now can anticipate what the other members are going to do on a song before they even do it. They know each other that well as musicians now.
“We’re a well-oiled machine,” said Brian. “It’s exciting.”
Initially, the Front Bottoms were just the duo of Brian and Matt. But transforming into a full-band has had huge impact on the band’s live show, said Brian.
Additionally, said Brian, for this tour, “We’ve stepped it up a lot.” Fans will see them use confetti cannons and dancing streamers to add to that feel-good, party atmosphere.
The live show is all about the band having fun and the fans having fun, said Brian.
When the Front Bottoms were at Toad’s Place in New Haven last year, there were clearly some fans who had traveled up from New Jersey to catch the band. And Brian said the band has been surprised to see that some fans do travel around with their tour. They have have now become familiar faces as The Front Bottoms travel from gig to gig. “They’ve become our friends,” said Brian.
As for what follows the gig in Hamden, Brian said the Front Bottoms will be out on the road till the end of the month. They’ll take a small break and then head out on another two month tour, and work their way up to Canada. In September and October, the band will on its way to Europe.
“We’re going to keep on hustling,” said Brian.
The Front Bottoms will play The Space, 295 Treadwell St., Hamden on Wednesday, July 10 at 7 p.m. The Wild and The Guru open. The show is already sold out. For more information, go to TheSpaceCT.com or TheFrontBottoms.com
Comments? Email mchaiken@BristolObserver. com.
By MIKE CHAIKEN