Credit: Kimberly Zsebe/ZBimages

The Record Company at Lincoln Theater 

The pop ballad is always there when you need some extra help peeling yourself off the bathroom floor. But Los Angeles rock trio The Record Company is proof that the inspirational song can also be gritty. On “Gotta Be Movin’”—off the 10-year-old band’s recently released third album, Play Loud—lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Vos describes the daily grind in visual terms. With processed vocals only slightly grimier than the guitar riff weaving under them, he sings: “My wheels spinning ’round like an old cassette / ‘Cause I ain’t where I wanna be yet.” The song isn’t about succumbing to exhaustion or despair; like several others on the album, it’s about pushing through all that. Drummer Marc Cazorla, who “grew up kind of a metal kid” in upstate New York, admits there’s a strong current of “hopeful optimism” on Play Loud, but says it wasn’t necessarily intentional. “It was just like, ‘Let’s just keep writing songs; see which ones work,’” he says. The album’s lead single, the highly danceable “How High,” was written pre-COVID, yet Cazorla notes how well its lyrics seem tailored to the pandemic era: “We’re rising out of the shadows / A lot of highway to go.” Canadian rock singer JJ Wilde opens for The Record Company at 8 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Lincoln Theatre. thelincolndc.com. $25.