Better Than Knowing Where You Are

[3/5] Spitalfield are emo’s most natural underdogs. Just when the genre grew fangs and donned mime makeup, Spitalfield acquitted themselves as earnest and talented traditionalists, polite and appropriately polished. Naturally, they were overlooked by the zillions of Jimmy Eat World fans content to live one Google search away from their new favorite band. On Better Than Knowing Where You Are, Spitalfield attempt to expand their rock arsenal with mixed results. “The Only Thing That Matters” and “Secrets In Mirrors” are vintage Spit’ with Mark Rose’s breathy delivery, rallying gang vocals and volleys of crunchy guitars prominently in play. The beefed-up “On The Floor” is a guaranteed show-stopper. What’s less awesome is Knowing’s second half, home to too many token tracks like “Lasting First Impression,” that rock-by-numbers when they ought to just… rock. Growing up may be as inevitable as ever, but it still ain’t easy to do. (VICTORY) Tristan Staddon

ROCKS LIKE: Jimmy Eat World’sBleed American • Anberlin’s Never Take Friendship Personal • Hey Mercedes’ Everynight Fireworks