Front Bottoms, Smith Street Band, Elvis Depressedly | Bottom Lounge | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Front Bottoms, Smith Street Band, Elvis Depressedly All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Sold Out (Music) Soundboard Recommended Image

When: Sat., Oct. 31, 6 p.m. 2015

Perhaps one of the keys to success for any emo band emerging from the underground is to convince potential new fans that they’re not listening to emo. New Jersey’s Front Bottoms occupy the gray area of indie rock in which sharp, pop-forward songwriting and hemmed-in punk power can neatly camouflage their emo and pop-punk bona fides. Never mind that the band’s fifth album, September’s Back on Top, came out on Fueled By Ramen, a label best known for its catalog of third-wave emo—and perhaps a label too responsible for cheerleading a genre that became interchangeable with saccharine pop-punk (Panic! At the Disco, anyone?). But Back on Top transcends Fueled by Ramen’s worst histrionics while seamlessly blending hook-laden highs into irresistible rock tunes about waking up to realize your teen years are long gone, though not yet distant memories. On the knockout single “Laugh Till I Cry” Front Bottoms summon the confusing feelings of growing apart from close friends of yore—but they don’t let the woe bog down the song’s jubilant swing. Back on Top is full of songs like “Laugh Till I Cry,” which I imagine is one reason why the album peaked at 32 on the Billboard 200 earlier this month.

Leor Galil

Price: sold out

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