Camouflage—A Blend of Old and New
The Front Bottoms (TFB) released a new single, “Camouflage,” along with a music video on December 20.
The New Jersey based band’s last release was in March of 2018 with Tie Dye Dragon, so this release was a pleasant surprise with little indication of a new track coming out. Back in September, the band’s twitter account tweeted an image with the line, “I wear camouflage to blend in,” which they now know was a hint to this track.
The day before the song dropped, the band sent out a tweet which was the only indication about their new release.
Comparing the band’s sound from their self-titled album, to their most recent release from 2017 “Going Grey,” there is a stark difference in melodies used and post-production sound. Forging ahead to the 2018 release of “Tie Dye Dragon,” and comparing their latest release to it, one notices that “Camouflage” offers the reliable TFB sound yet contains matured lyrics that still manage to carry an angsty tone. Additionally, in their latest song, the band brings back their stripped down acoustic tone heard in their earlier albums.
Continuing, “Camouflage” demonstrates the band’s lyrical growth compared to older songs. As it starts with the classic TFB guitar linger, the strums begin and Brian Sella sings, “we are smoke, living on your parents’ property/It’s a joke, so we don’t take it seriously/Fight’s not worth the drama/Sounds like something that you said.” At surface level, a majority of the lyrics hint towards an engagement, possibly even a relationship between newlyweds trying to figure things out.
When “Camouflage” is compared to “Tie Dye Dragon,” which starts out with the lyrics, “I was on LSD when I saved that family/And I was on LSD at all the talk shows after,” it is clear their latest release demonstrates influences from their early days while also evolving further from their previous single.
Similar to their older songs, Sella pauses in the middle of the song to speak a few words, but with this song, it mixes spoken word with some half-sung lyrics:
“I gotta make a commitment and it’s stressing me out, One I’m gonna have to live with ‘til I’m under the ground And I will save it for my deathbed, like I’m reading a vow Or a police report feels like a poem somehow It’s all the time I talk about vacation, like it’s all we got in common Just let me take you on vacation, just like I promised I mean obviously I’m distant. I’m a thousand miles away Obviously it’s tense, there’s nothing else to say I am so loosely connected in a couple different ways And I might not act like it, but I think I love the taste”
With this mini monologue, the lyrics cause the idea of marriage to spring to mind. Without diving deeper into the depth, it is obvious that this song carries honest thoughts and the almost sarcastic vulnerability that The Front Bottoms are known for.
Overall, this new track’s release offers fans a blend of TFB’s old style while simultaneously demonstrating their growth vocally and lyrically. If you are not listening closely, the track might just camouflage itself as one of the old tracks.