The Story So Far don’t have to wail to be heard.
Label: Pure Noise Records
Released: 18th May 2015
Those that know, know. But for anyone who likes to test the fate of sub-genres every now and then, it’s safe to say that pop-punk is doing just fine. So much so, that it seems fitting that The Story So Far should lead on what’s earmarked to be another brilliant year for the genre. Neck Deep, The Wonder Years and State Champs are all gearing up to enrich things with more unforgettable choruses, smart lyricism and manageable aggression (the kind which feels more productive than destructive), but first thing’s first. The Story So Far’s self-titled release packs all the aforementioned factors, with an added storytelling element that suggests Parker Cannon and co really gave this some thought.
Is it eponymous because it’s all shiny and new? Not really. The California five-piece still possess the same fire that fuelled 2011’s ‘Under Soil And Dirt’ and 2013’s ‘What You Don’t See’. Vocalist Cannon appears to ignite the flames with the remains of an excruciating break-up, personal loss and his subsequent anger. Lead single ‘Solo’ may possess the kind of fun, sing-along moments New Found Glory fans crave, but it’s drenched in Cannon’s own heartache. “Does it anger you that I chose a different route?” he cries in the midst of detailing a fierce relationship breakdown. ‘Distate’ and ‘Mock’ do much the same, dishing out relatable lyrics about love lost.
As the crashing cymbals of ‘Nerve’ fade with the band’s fury, ballad ‘Phantom’ pinpoints their most mature moment on the record. As Cannon retells his memories of one particular loss – “Picture you just dancing, dancing in your old room” – the dark blue theme sinks to its most heartfelt hue. Tracks like ‘Heavy Gloom’ and ‘Scowl’ are the halfway point between emotion and delivery, as they balance sharp vocals with consistent melody; proving simply that The Story So Far don’t have to wail to be heard. Jessica Bridgeman