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To that end, "Bad Decisions," a straightforward and speedy punk number, warns of the consequences of poor choices; missing a show, drinking and driving, waking up hung over in an unfamiliar environment are all subjects of the song. Meanwhile, "The Others," which boasts lyrics penned by Henry, explores the nuances of the television show Lost. "I was on home detention for a DUI for two months, so I started watching it," Henry recalls. "I watched the entire series in the sixty days or whatever that I was at home, so I became obsessed with it."
"Nuclear Solution" explores another of the band's pop-culture obsessions: zombies, a theme that's echoed in the title of the new record and cover portrait of the four members retouched to resemble the walking dead. Over a plodding, purposeful guitar intro and insistent, distorted verse and chorus, the lyrics detail a nuclear scenario in which the dead rise from their graves. "A government experiment gone awry/Who would have known so many would die?" McCrorey asks casually at the outset before launching into lines like "The body dies/But the brain's alive."
"I like horror flicks a lot," admits Crawford, who co-wrote the lyrics.
For all the new directions on the album, the group isn't ready to leave the old material behind. Tracks from early albums such as Fall Out of Line and 2004's No Pegs will continue to be a part of live performances.
"I think people will definitely want to hear old stuff," Crawford maintains, "because it sucks when you go to see a band and they play all their new material and you don't recognize anything. We've got to keep playing our old stuff. How can you hate a song that you created that people love?"
But even with a respect for their roots firmly in place, the members of Frontside will be the first to marvel at the changes that have affected their songs since they made their first recordings in a Denver garage less than ten years ago.
"Compared to the last albums, we've grown a lot as musicians," Henry insists. "I heard a song come on from the first album when I was out at a skate-video night. The DJ played a Frontside Five song, 'Gator,' from the first album.
"I was like, 'Oh, my God, we sound totally different now,'" he laughs, shaking his head.