Slow and Steady
In Time We Belong
Broken Circles Records
The cover artwork of In Time We Belong shows a man falling with a building in the background reminiscent of the intro to the TV show Mad Men. I always assumed that show would end with Don Draper taking his own life by throwing himself off a building. This record could be the soundtrack leading up to that decision. In Time We Belong is a deep churning well of despair and angst. There’s an obvious comparison, but I’ll wait to get to that until the end of the review.
Positively this album absolutely rocks. It’s a straight forward guitar, bass, keyboards and drums. The lead single “35mm” is comfortable humming along with a snappy verse and soaring chorus setting the tone for the rest of the record. “Horizons” is a stereotypical track for the A-side of this record alternating between walls of guitar during the intro/chorus/outro and less distorted picking during the verse. It’s a formula that has been used before and Slow and Steady does it well. The title “The Kind of Warmth That Freezes You To Death” is extremely accurate as a description of this record. The song itself is typical of the B-side of this record, ti’s mind-numbingly beautiful and reminiscent of The Weakerthans. Throughout this record during choruses Jacob Lawler chooses to layer his voice against itself in a way that reminds of Elliott Smith. In Time We Belong is a sprawling, soaring tribute to just how powerful chords set to midtempo rhythms can be.
On the other hand Slow and Steady tries too hard to be more mature than it’s years. Lyrics like “Welcome to your twenty’s, you’ve got a long way to go. It doesn’t help to know that everyone is miserable.” from the opener “Horizon” or “I’ve done things that I wished I could take back. I promised the world when nothing I had could ever amount to that.” from the lead single “35mm” are just reaching a little too hard. This album reeks with the indulgence and angst that can only be achieved by being a one man show working on a project.
Ultimately in this modern age of metadata deciding if you like a record or not tends to rely on if you like something it is comparable to. If you liked Pedro the Lion’s Control and were able to look past its faults you will love Slow and Steady’s In Time We Belong. The similarities between these two records are unmistakable, but for this reviewer that’s not a bad thing at all. In no way is In Time We Belong re-writing the book of depressing poppy indie rock, but it’s also a welcome addition to the book that exists.
Reviewed by: Rob1340