Lovers Turn to Monsters take to the stage this time as a full band rather than its usual solo performer.
Last time the singer, Kyle Wood, seemed nervous and a little overwhelmed, although, if I were playing with a band like The Front Bottoms, I’d probably feel the same way.
This time, it’s different, it seems as if he has been given a newfound confidence being on stage with some support.
The added guitar, drums and bass give a somewhat more upbeat sound to his usual ‘mumblecore’ (that cleverly inventive word is conveniently taken from a LTTM EP of the same name).
He rattles through a few of his own tracks and a slowed down version of blink-182’s ‘M+M’s’.
His own tracks chronicle teenage angst that he had once felt while either thinking about death, or being single.
Wood has a likable quality about him, and it’s evident he is trying to make up for his last performance and does so with ease.
Next up is Allison Weiss, someone who I have greatly anticipated seeing live as this is the first time she has ever been to the UK and tonight is her second show.
The stage is bare as she walks on with just herself and her guitar, which all she needs, really, her songs are beautifully written and the only way to hear them live is acoustically, that way, you’re able to get to grips with just how heart achingly brilliant she is.
She proclaims that she is glad there is a barricade because she doesn’t want to freak out with the audience about how intimate it’s going to be since she’s going to sing about “all of the feelings”.
If you are there watching Allison Weiss pour her heart out through the medium of song, and you have yourself experienced unrequited love, then it will definitely strike a chord.
A part of me is still sort of surprised when I see guys in bands just loiter around the side of the stage before they go on, just like The Front Bottoms do.
I momentarily forget they are real people and that for some reason it’s bizarre that they hang around, waiting to go on and drinking beer as if it’s no big deal at all.
Their overall set is like one big dance party, as they bring their own unique sound to the small venue and cause it to erupt, so much so that a small mosh pit starts mid set.
A particular highlight is when an audience member shouts out to get Brian Sella’s attention and then proceeds to pull up her skirt — wait for it, it’s not what you’re thinking — and reveals a large scale tattoo on one of her thighs of his cartoonized face.
It’s the cover art of their self-titled album, and as there is another version with a similarly drawn caricature of the other member, Matt Uychich, she turns around and shows that that one is tattooed on her other thigh.
To add to the spectacular night, they play a specially requested song – ‘Everything I Own’ – from their new album, Talon Of The Hawk, for the first time ever.
The set goes on and songs like ‘Swimming Pool’, ‘Au Revoiur’ and ‘The Beers’ are sung back the loudest.
Personally, I think they are immensely better live than on recordings, and seeing them would only do the songs the justice that they deserve.
What would go unnoticed as well on a recording, is how insanely talented Uychich is on drums; tonight he has a small kit, but annihilates it.
I’m sure I have read somewhere before that the Front Bottoms have been described as ‘music for writers’, as their lyricism is veiled with lively melodies with many mentions of being after effects of marijuana, but when you really listen, you find that they are incredibly clever and are well written as songwriters.
I meet Sella after the show and tell him about how his music has influenced me in particular, and he is gracious, humble and genuinely appreciative that he was able to help me out.
So in short, The Front Bottoms are a band that deserves the support, if you ever get the chance, go and see them; tattoos, however, are optional.
Words: Alisa Wylie