Allentown, Pennsylvania band The Front End has released a four-track EP titled Growing Pains, the genre of which is hard to define. It feels like members Louis Holzman (drums), Gabriel Defalcis (guitar, vocals), and Kory Hartz (guitar, vocals) chose to go with the genre that best relayed what they were trying to convey, even if it meant changing styles in the middle of a song, rather than to box themselves in with anything specific.
For example, “Mandingo” begins as a mid-tempo number only to vary both upwards and downwards. While the opening makes one believe that it is an angsty punk rock song, it manages to do things like dip into a ballad as well as segue into an aggressive track (with screaming vocals to boot). The interesting thing is that while the lyrics are fairly simple and straightforward, the melody seems to give an added extra meaning and depth. Similarly, “Uncle Tony” explores the band’s more introspective side while at the same time tapping into their most intense side, giving an extra emotional layer to the already emotional topic of losing a family member.
“Toes in the Sand” seems to be a relaxing reprieve—except that The Front End is dipping their toes into extremely hot sand. It’s a long number, clocking in at a little over five minutes, and goes from being extremely aggressive to a patient sing-along, and includes an angsty portion complete with chugging guitars. Its feels like the band is almost veering into a chaotic place but manages to stay on track. “Missed Connections” also has portions that seem more laid back and relaxing. These portions alternate with a thunderous section replete with powerful guitars and forceful drumming.