Review Summary: Catchy band is catchy, and little else.Story of the Year
– Page Avenue
Story of the Year
was and is:
Dan Marsala – Vocals
Ryan Phillips – Lead Guitar
Philip Sneed – Rhythm Guitar, Backup Vocals
Adam Russell – Bass, Backup Vocals
Josh Wills – Drums
Venture back to 2003 and enter Story of the Year
(formerly Big Blue Monkey
, but unfortunately the humorous name was already taken). Their first single off of their first album, Until the Day I Die
, was blasting out of radios across the United States. Said song had everything a fan of mainstream post-hardcore could drool over; Simple yet catchy riffs, clean singing that eventually built up to climactic moments, lyrics full of teen-angst, and a length of 3:56, as to not bore the possible impatient listeners. This was a single though, and usually singles are supposed to appeal to a broader audience to spread popularity. Having not heard the entire album at the time of the release (I had yet to develop my own musical taste and simply listened to whatever everyone else wanted to), I expected some deeper musical creativity and subject matter within Page Avenue
. To my dismay, Page Avenue
was a contrived jumble of songs very similar to Until the Day I Die
, with very few highlights in between. Even worse, Until the Day I Die
is one of the top three songs on here.
The album starts off with a bang, as And the Hero Will Drown
is overflowing with energy and emotion, complete with some of the album’s better lyrical and instrumental work. It also sports plenty of screaming, giving the listener a completely false impression of the band. There really isn’t much screaming anywhere else here, as the album is saturated with singing and little in addition. This is, again, radio-friendly post-hardcore. The average song on here will consist of generic instruments, generic (but fortunately very nice) vocals, and generic songwriting skills meshed together to produce a generic song. The format here is consistently verse-chorus-verse-chorus, if not a chorus before the first verse, and songs will often have more than two choruses. All of these truths about the band’s songwriting style explain their incredible popularity. If every song sounds the same, each song is going to be just as enjoyable as the last. The problem is the lack of innovation and sophistication, as catchiness cannot alone carve out a masterpiece, especially when it’s repetitive. This fact by itself could make the album’s third single, Sidewalks
, one of the better tracks on the album. It is the only entirely acoustic song on the album (well, almost entirely), and it is mildly beautiful. Don’t expect anything of the same caliber of Thursday
in this song, but it could easily be a mainstay on iPods everywhere.
To quickly sum up Story of the Year
’s Page Avenue
, it is a homeless person’s The Artist in the Ambulance
. They take everything Thrice
have to offer, minus the more complex riffs and superb songwriting, and make those elements a ****-load worse. There are occasionally nice semi-intricate riffs in here, as well as some smooth fills on drums, but apart from the singles and maybe two more tracks there isn’t anything worthwhile on this recording. One could say the entire album is enjoyable, but in the end the album is simply mediocre and does absolutely nothing to stand-out in the midst of the numerous pioneers and big-boys of the genre.
Pretty good vocals
Four great tracks
Catchy, catchy, catchy
Boring, after the first three tracks it’s hard not to want to just rewind and ignore everything else
You’ll say, “Haven’t I heard this before?” every three minutes
Pretty annoying lyrics, everything pertains to friendships and relationships
Recommended Tracks, and Why:
And the Hero Will Drown
– The most complete song on here, it boasts excellent vocals (including screams) and some exciting instrumental work.
Until the Day I Die
– Catchy riff, catchy chorus, and a nice vocal and instrumental buildup at the end. Unfortunately it has some of the worst lyrics on here, but the pros outweigh that one con.
Dive Right In
– Great intro, some neat drum fills, and an alright chorus.
– A nice change of pace with acoustics and the singing is enjoyable most of the time.
I’m stuck between a 2.5 and a 3, but this isn’t really good, so 2.5/5