One thing I do thoroughly enjoy about The Front is the sophistication of the lyrics. Without even listening to the music, I could tell this band is about more than drugs, sex and rock 'n roll. Their lyrics, by means of metaphors and a well-rounded vocabulary, resonate deeply into real, yet not totally transparent human experiences. "Past the clouds into your eyes can you say.... nevermore ... when we were young all the structure in our lives it ran its own course ... awakened child rolls its eyes and all the lies they come back to the source." Nice. Every song has a literary jewel like this.
But what about the music? What I like about The Bradbury Press is that you can actually hear the individual notes in their chords when they strum their guitars, rather than the predominance of white noise from highly distorted power chords. The acoustic guitar work on this CD is very articulate and played with taste, but what I find unique is how the bass guitar lines of most songs don't simply follow the root notes of the guitar, but integrate various note inversions, counterpoints and other clever melodic techniques that convert normal guitar chords into catchy polychords or arrangements. Now that's playing outside of the box.
The Front offers many musical goodies. The song "White Picket Fence" creates a nice transition between jazz swing, acoustic rock and reggae. "Domino" has some smooth slide guitar work that will likely test your patience far less than the slide guitar on "Freebird." And finally, "Country Ditty" is exactly that: a bouncy, boot kickin' tune with banjo and a very convincing country guitar solo.