After wondering exactly what The Front Bottoms have been up to over the past several days, now there is some clarity, and it’s the best kind. Brace yourselves, because it’s kind of amazing.
The New Jersey based band had posted a link to their website with the attached bit of “needywhenimneedy” that took you to a page just before entering the site with YouTube videos that played the audio for very special demo tracks.
That page is no longer available, but the demos that were up were “Katana,” “Would I Lie To You,” “Sexy and Alive (give an inch),” and “All For You Sacrificial Ritual,” and they all start off with acoustic guitar at its base and extra little instrumental touches to add character, creating a very folk-y sound that’s not necessarily unusual for The Front Bottoms, but still a little different.
Why is the page no longer available? Well, that’s because the demos are being released on a 7″ with two B-sides from Back On Top (2015) called “Tighten Up” and “Joanie.”
“Katana” is a throwback to “West Virginia,” beginning with “‘Is it raining where you are?’ The only thing I could think to ask. But nothing ever hurt so bad as the ‘no’ that you said back.” Layered with harmonies and backup vocals, this previously unheard side of “West Virginia” is touching in ways that the original is incapable of.
“Would I Lie To You” (which is a line from “Motorcycle,” the title track of Back On Top), calls back to “2YL,” and its realness comes from Brian Sella’s little “what the hell” right at the beginning of the take. Though this version has less punch, it is no less of a love song by the band’s definition, the acoustic guitar creating a more romantic sound to accompany the lyrics. As a matter of fact, this demo is absolutely adorable. Heart eyes and “aww”‘s for days.
The third demo, “Sexy and Alive,” starts off with Sella saying “hello?” before launching into an almost dry, Modern Baseball-esque intro about seeing who could ride a motorcycle the fastest. The track refers back to “Help!” with “Some nights there’s something cool to do and on some nights there’s nothing to do at all.” There’s some laughter in the background and some “ah”‘s in a musical pattern, attributing to that wonderful, unfinished sound.
The final demo, “All For You Sacrificial Ritual,” is clearly a reference to “Historic Cemetery,” although the added guitar lines give it its own unique spin, making it sound just a little grunge-y but also something you would expect from The Front Bottoms. All that noodling on the electric guitar is either impressive or unnecessarily silly, still not sure which yet.
Needy When I’m Needy will be available on October 14.