Small Brown Bike - Composite, Volume One [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
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Small Brown Bike

Small Brown Bike: Composite, Volume One [7 inch]

Composite, Volume One [7 inch] (2009)

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4
There are feelings of great hesitation with a release like this, "the comeback" record. With Small Brown Bike's final full-length The River Bed, the band had branched out using more guitar and vocal effects, showcasing a slightly mellower disposition and hinting towards what would soon become a high...

There are feelings of great hesitation with a release like this, "the comeback" record. With Small Brown Bike's final full-length The River Bed, the band had branched out using more guitar and vocal effects, showcasing a slightly mellower disposition and hinting towards what would soon become a highly popular post-rock sound. The end results tended to be polarizing amongst fans. With Composite, Volume One, Small Brown Bike return with something both recognizable and slightly new.

"When We Run" re-infuses much of the energy found in releases like Our Own Wars that was kind of lacking on their swan song while keeping the crisp and clear production they brought on The River Bed. Musically, it follows the band's familiar tradition of dueling guitar and vocal post-hardcore assault. Lyrically, the band is in great form, with the speaker of the song focused on searching and yearning: "We're born without roots, then plant and sow the turmoil. Like ghosts in a vacant home, we haunt our own minds." "Hourglass," on the B side, is a bit of a surprise in that lyrically it's still shaded by a certain hue of melancholy -- the composition is overall actually one of the brightest in the band's career.

Returning after a lengthy hiatus has shown SBB to be inspired as ever, progressing while respecting their previous output. We can only hope Composite, Volume One is an indication of future volumes and a more permanent reunion.