Kevin Devine/The Front Bottoms - Devinyl Splits No. 12 [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Kevin Devine / The Front Bottoms

Devinyl Splits No. 12 [7-inch] (2019)

bad timing records

Any day you can listen to music from NY's singer/songwriter Kevin Devine and The Front Bottoms is, make no mistake, a really good fucking day. Devine's been on a run of splits lately, and this here is another that acts as a fanboy collaboration with TFB with each covering a song from the other. Admittedly, this is way too good a concept to be relegated to just one track each, but whatever, I'll appreciate it for what it's worth.

And the covers are fantastic. TFB covers "Just Stay" which, for me, is a trip back at least five years or so ago. Now, having seen Devine live (finally), I love how accessible his music has become with crowds of all ages and influences taking to his music. And this song is another example why he should be bigger than he is. TFB wade in with a louder, garage sound, exploding in a way you sadly don't hear them on their new records from Fuelled By Ramen, as if to say -- this is Brian Sella on vocals while we imitate Manchester Orchestra's boisterous sound. Oh, it works, it really does. Catchy, melodic and a reason to get these acts together in studio more often.

As for Devine on "Rhode Island," it's one of my favourites from TFB as I loved the warmth of the horns and keys, the messages about friendship and not breaking when you bend, and all of this is captured by Devine's saccharine voice. Listen closely and you'll hear how the parent bands do chime in on the mic as well, and it definitely feels like buddies coming together than jamming with each other rather than churning out covers. Hope to hear more because this rips hard, and it's a stark reminder of the fun and magic running through the veins of both acts.