Despite my love of The Front Bottoms, my expectations going into ‘Going Grey’ could be described as akin to waiting for a train to hit. The band have been on something of a downwards trend since their fantastic ‘Talon of the Hawk’ and ‘Going Grey’ had produced one alright and one downright dull lead single (‘Raining’ and ‘Vacation Town’).
Going in expecting such awfulness means that the result, a fairly dependable record that shows considered growth as musicians, is a refreshing thing. In fact, musically it is rather inspired. Sadly, lyrical immaturity holds the band back. “Next time we meet it’ll be peace sign, middle finger”, the chorus line to ‘Peace Sign’, is a rather cringe-inducing line before it is repeated a good few times each chorus, but nowhere near as painfully immature as following track ‘Bae’. It never derails the album, but what was charming on the band’s debut feels like something they should have moved past by now, given they have shown what they can be. It’s reminiscent of how South Park still revels in fart jokes and Blink-182 still find penises amusing on stage.
Going Grey is a mixed batch and is probably best picked at song by song than taken as a whole. A passable addition to The Front Bottoms’ catalogue, but no more or less than that.