Winning The Loser's Bracket - Bronze
Record Label: None
Release Date: April 2, 2013
A girl I went to high school with passed away my junior year on May 1st. She was a senior and I didn’t know her that well, but I had friends who she was like a sister to. Most people invoke her death to paint a picture of our struggling scrappy little high school and how we grew together as a community after that tragedy. I am not here to tell that story.
Those people who were super close to her remember on each 1st of the month not the fresh feelings most people feel, but are saddened by the anniversary of the loss of their friend. While most music I listen to is in the vein of “If we just stay positive, it’ll get better” its something else entirely when the “I am average and I accept that” music comes on. It brings me almost close to my friends’ pain.
So in “A Bronze Will” when vocalist Dustin Reinink says “Deep down, I know bronze is where I'm comfortable at I'm finally accepting that,” it strikes me as not the antithesis, but a companion to Dan Campbell’s “I’m not sad anymore” and that’s okay with me. Sometimes we need a record that can humble us and help us feel what those friends who are struggling feel. In many ways Bronze is an outsider's record, a "we" and "he" to the rest of the scene's "I".
Each track of Bronze blisters back without the common purpose of a concept album but with the brazen will of an album with a theme. I could list songs here but the album needs them all to work together for the listening experience to work. That experience also, for me, sounds better out of speakers. This isn’t a record to hole up with (I’m looking at you Daisy), this is a blow-your-speakers-out blasting kind of disc.
The whole record clocks in at just under 30 minutes and each minute runs by, even in “Notoriety”, a 6 minute long track. I may be biased, however, as Weezer’s Green Album is one of my favorite albums and it also clocks in under 30 minutes.
The final track, “Obstacle” is by far my favorite track, going by at a blistering pace and showing principal member and drummer Tyler Conrad’s blisteringly fast pace. As Reinink says “I just want you to relate to what I said, I just want to steal what my favorite author’s penned,” you can see the true essence of both Bronze and Winning The Loser’s Bracket as a whole: This is how they feel, and they are desperately clamoring for the best way for you to understand it.
Reinink and Conrad want you to feel WTLB and the emotions they pour into songs as much as you feel Mark Hoppus, Dan Campbell, Salinger or John Green. You need to hear them so badly he’s willing to steal for you. You might as well return the favor and buy their record.