The Front


The Front Wet Things LP

A collection of poppy, goofy new wave songs from this Miami, Florida band. They were around from 1980 to 1983, and released two singles and a posthumous album. Some songs from those releases are here, plus a bunch more. There is no info about when the other tracks were recorded, but they sound like studio recordings. Unfortunately, only one of the three songs from their debut First Strike EP is included. The standout track is the B-side from their second single—“Poor People,” a catchy, upbeat synth-led song with silly lyrics like “Ship them off to Arkansas or somewhere else that sucks.” The FRONT was apparently on its way to major label stardom, but broke up instead. They made the correct choice.

The Front Criteria Sessions EP

The internet has been a great archival tool, if nothing else. I find it really comforting to see an otherwise lost-to-time band such as this Miami power pop act able to document their 1980—1983 lifespan—even just on Bandcamp. This doesn’t simply feel like a vanity project, though. The tunes are good! If the DICTATORS had cleaned it up, they might have sounded something like this. These tracks are squeaky clean, but driving and melodic. The harmonies are on point, which is crucial, and there is even some interesting use of dissonant guitar leads on tracks like “Holiday Weekend” (the standout here). There is always a fear of losing music like this, of losing bands entirely as if they never existed. This probably won’t blow your mind like some unearthed gems, like when the world finally caught on to DEATH, but I’m happy to see releases like this. The FRONT were here, they stood in recording studios and on stages, and they recorded music and it sounded pretty damn good. We could all hope to be remembered to the same degree.