Us And Us Only: 'Full Flower' Album Review

Us and Us Only formed as a trio in Baltimore around 2009. After releasing four EPs the band has released their first full length album, Full Flower. The album is 12 tracks long with a indie rock sound. The band’s five members are Kinsey Matthews (vocalist), Sean Mercer, Mike Suica, Nick Hughes, and John Toohey. Masters of the soundscape, the band’s latest album explores a kind of sonic space theme that can be heard from the very first track.

The album has a great entrance, with a spaced-out boom. The first song, "sun4u", is short and sleepy, though one of those mellow songs you wish would last forever. "Kno", is a clear change. With a rocky rhythm and few lyrics, the song focuses on the gaps between words. It has a very interesting change half way through, with sonic sound effects that really add to the band’s unique style. "Bored of Black", begins with a lovely drum beat, a clear focus in the song. The style is similar to the previous song; few lyrics with a distinctive guitar riff and a rocky chorus. "Shame" has a distinctly different opening and sound from the others, with heavier rock guitar riffs, but has a quiet close which leads seamlessly into "My Mouth". The album’s title track, "Full Flower", and "Lawn" which follows after, are probably the rockiest songs on the album. "Full Flower" includes subtle harmonies and a wonderful instrumental soundscape. I love the beginning of "After Halloween Slump", which slowly fades into a simple plucking rhythm. This band are ace on their intros! Again, the beginning of "Dresses" has it’s own unique entrance; simple, yet spacey - almost like the silence between the notes are the most important bit. It quickly grows to a dramatic, grungy sound, full of tired anger, then calms again. The album ends with a sad, calm song. It’s emotion comes through the piano in the background; a clear sound that cuts through the soundscape.

The band’s style is full of lofty arrangements, tight drum patterns, booming bass, and rocky guitar riffs. Their dark indie-rock style is created with the use of sonic-like soundscapes, chilled instrumentals, and simple melodies. Kinsey Matthews’ poetic vocals portray the emotions of each song in a laid back, dejected sort of way which really typifies the band’s sound.

While a lot of songs on this album sound similar, each of them have their own small distinction and the songs blend seamlessly into one another. The album’s sound is addictive; I’d have them playing in my room on a rainy day, when I’m feeling down and out...they perfectly fit that calm yet rocky mood I find myself in when designing a playlist.