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Review: The Front Bottoms @ Enigma Bar


Review: The Front Bottoms @ Enigma Bar

Kate Sansome

New Jersey punk band, The Front Bottoms, recently stopped by Adelaide’s Enigma Bar apart of their sold out national tour.  The group have been gaining a massive cult following since their self-titled album dropped in 2011, and following their 2014 Australian support slot for The Smith Street Band. It's obvious the group had made an impression on Australian fans with nearly all their shows completely selling out this time round. 

Joining the American punk rockers were Adelaide’s very own, The Hard Aches, which was clearly quite the drawcard for fans to see the punk duo play their first hometown show in a while.  From the get-go, the crowd were absolutely frothing over The Hard Aches’ pop punk anthems, with beer flying everywhere, multiple crowd surfing attempts and the entire room singing the lyrics right back at the duo.  They shifted through their 2016 EP, with songs like Alcohol and Cigarettes, Glad That You’re Gone and I Freak Out proving to be crowd favourites.  The group also played a couple of new songs, which vocalist Ben David shared were likely to appear on the record they are currently working on. I think the real power of The Hard Aches is the vulnerability and truth in the lyrics, which really resonates with the audience.  Their whole set was filled with so much energy and intensity that set up such a good vibe in the room, you almost forgot that they were the support act.

I have been a fan of The Front Bottoms for a couple of years now and seeing them live for the first time gave a whole new meaning to their songs.  The boys were just so nice and lovely, that all their songs felt so positive and uplifting, whereas I feel that their recordings are filled with so much more punk angst than their live show.  Everyone in the room appeared to know every word and were more than happy to drown out Brian Sella’s nasally vocals by passionately singing the lyrics back at the band.  Huge highlights from their set included poppy number HELP, with the whole crowd screaming the catchy hook, as well as incredible trumpet work on tracks such as, The Plan (Fuck Jobs), whilst also tearing down the house with, Au Revoir (Adios), which once again was so much more energetic live than the studio recording. 

Similar to The Hard Aches, The Front Bottoms’ honest lyrics and catchy melodies had the crowd captivated, connecting with the group’s coming-of-age stories, sung over the top of a combination of raw, folk acoustics and punk rock instrumentals.   As The Front Bottoms’ set begun to draw to a close, they announced they had two songs to go. After playing their much loved single, Twin Sized Mattress, the crowd begged for more and The Front Bottoms were more than happy to play another for the sold out crowd.  All in all, The Front Bottoms were oozing so much energy and positivity, that they had the entire crowd hanging off every word.

Header image via The Front Bottoms