On one hand, I love the hard work that goes into a concept album. With that, they’re like a story unfolding before your eyes and ears. On the other hand, I love when albums feel like a compilation of this and that from the artist’s recent thoughts. No matter the type though, a good record is a good record and when it comes to Them vs Her, they have a solid concept album with Swing Sets and Handguns for those who like their rock with a hint of indie pop.
The band’s lead singer has said this album is “about a girl (the narrator) in a relationship with her childhood best friend.” It isn’t a happy-go-lucky one though. You can hear the record for yourself to hear the whole tale, but this is more of a toxic relationship and less rom-com. Anyways, what I like is that while the overall story may not be 100% to everyone – we’ve all that that one friend growing up that we cannot shake, no matter how fucked their lives get. Maybe we’re addicted to the nostalgia of them?
To the music though, the first track instantly takes you into this story as “Too Young” takes on the idea that most of us have heard of believe – you can’t find love when you’re young. Throughout the record you can definitely hear what this girl is experiencing via her heartfelt deliveries in “Don’t Let Go” and “Too Late.” Stepping away from the concept of the record, I think the best track that stands alone away from all the others is not their single “Headlights,” although one of their strongest – but rather “Judas Kiss.” The pace of it, the way the words danced around – that shined.
Conceptually, Them vs Her hit the nail on the head when it came to deciphering a story through song. Musically, they were able to balance the rock and the heart but had they had more on the record like “Judas Kiss,” this would’ve been an A+ album instead of a solid B. If you’re a fan of either Mayday Parade or Tonight Alive, or perhaps both – this is the band for you. So get yourself some Swing Sets and Handguns, out April 30.