Us and Us Only - Full Flower (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Us and Us Only

Full Flower (2017)

topshelf records

Baltimore's Us and Us Only are one of the acts that helps define what it means to be indie/emo these days. It's not just about those American Football ear-crawlers or those Sunny Day Real Estate rushes of blood to the head. Full Bloom charts a course which is less restless and more settled, gnawing at you with slow-burners and low-tempo jams that appeal to fans of Death Cab for Cutie and Pedro the Lion. 

Lead singer and guitarist, Kinsey Matthews, feels like Pedro's Dave Bazan on so many levels -- delivery-wise and as a writer. Songs like "sun4u" and "way2loud" represent how far they've come from the folk tag of old. It's now calmer acoustics or mid-tempo jams at best and honestly, it suits them fine. A bit of Sorority Noise (who put out Joy, Departed on this label a couple years ago) creeps in later on when the melodies rise, as seen with "kno" and "Shame" -- heartwrenching songs that leave you wondering if love is all that it's cracked up to be. What I think is the biggest step with this album is that it puts the Bored Crusader EP (which was solid on its own) on the shelf to collect dust and thus, it makes a new case as to why our human emotions swirl the way they do. It's a mature narrative, worn well due to experience and that alone makes Full Flower bloom brilliantly for Us and Us Only.