The Story So Far

What You Don't See

Written by: PP on 12/04/2013 00:11:14

The Story So Far have been winning the hearts and minds of pop punkers across the world through their intensely emotional approach to pop punk. The vocals are drenched in passionately shouted melodies, and when I say shouted, I mean shouted emotionally like your heart is being physically torn out of your body because you love that one girl just so fucking much. Not screaming, just melodic, charismatic, and torn apart into pieces, all without sounding too angsty (I'm looking at you Punchline) or too nasal (hello, Hold Tight!). Like the early emo vocals of Taking Back Sunday delivered with more intensified emotional cargo and ridiculous, heart-wrenching urgency. Troubled youth and young adults worldwide, beware.

Debut album "Under Soil And Dirt" was an instant success thanks to the powerful and convincing vocal delivery of Parker Cannon, and "What You Don't See" basically continues exactly where that album left off with a few refinements here and there. The melodies are halfway melancholic while being bright, and step aside from the conventional pop punk formula into something heavier, here borrowing from a few pop-hardcore bands like Set Your Goals but occasionally also from acts like Polar Bear Club. Basically, imagine a pop punk band with slightly more complex riffs and strained vocals, and you're there. But that's what makes The Story So Far so difficult to classify. Essentially, they are the opposite of polished pop punk bands like Cartel, Hit The Lights etc, but they aren't as raw and down-to-earth as The Wonder Years nor as defensively introspective as Man Overboard, but an entity all to their own.

That's the platform used to launch "What You Don't See" as an emotional wreck of an album. It's also catchy, as songs like "Small Talk" and especially "The Glass" will demonstrate. But most of all it is emotional. Disturbingly much so. It's also monotone in the sense that Cannon does not let go of its listener on any of the 11 songs on the record. He persists in melodically shouting his emotional lyrics in the same gripping tone from start to finish. Incidentally, this is my biggest issue with this record, despite liking many of the songs individually. There's just no variation, and despite Cannon's charisma coming across through his emotionally charged delivery, I feel like he would have more impact if he used a quiet/loud contrast a little more. That said, it is his style that makes The Story So Far one of the more exciting pop punk bands around these days, and though "What You Don't See" probably isn't among the best releases this year, it offers a rejuvenating glimpse at how pop punk can also sound like these days. Who said the genre is dead?

Download: Things I Can't Change, Small Talk, The Glass
For the fans of: Hold Tight!, City Lights, Punchline, Taking Back Sunday
Listen: Facebook

Release date 26.03.2013
Pure Noise Records

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