Review Summary: SOTY presents The Constant: 11 all-natural anthems that don’t change much but certainly bring the good times.
For skeptics: The Constant
is another Story Of The Year album. Between the 11 songs with the lurching guitars, soaring vocals, shotgun snares, and larger than life choruses: there’s nothing groundbreaking that SOTY bring on this album-so if you were hoping for that you might as well stop reading now.
If you decided to keep reading still you’ll actually be pleased to know that The Constant
is a solid album, and for certain their tightest and most natural album yet. For most part they do stay in the confines of their sound but they manage to make it work (they branch out slightly at points-but will get there). The album is an extension of the sound they found in The Black Swan
but the melodic flair on many of these songs is very reminiscent of Page Avenue
The major thing The Constant does is focus on the strengths that were brought on by The Black Swan
. The band has a winning combo with their producer Elvis Baskette who gives the band a nice beefy and balance sound-optimizing the push/pull dynamics the band loves to mess with. So because of this, the band aims to write in simplicity-focusing more on the overall song by not over thinking or over tweaking anything part (where The Black Swan was flawed). And in doing this-the band succeeds very well.
As said before, just about all these songs groove in typical SOTY fashion. You can hear a bit of Page Avenue in a lot of these songs with the guitars switching between soft delay-esque licks to explosive choruses. Sometimes the band goes for a simple pop-punk three or four power chord progression which could be mistaken for cliché but they tend to ride the hell out of it and layer some rather infectious vocal and guitar harmonies.
Overall, their only two twists they pull of here. The opener “The Children Sing” uses a children’s choir throughout the song. Albeit it is a bit cheesy (and a bit odd for an opener) but it ends up being a rather nice and (almost cute) touch to the song. The other twist is in the downright zany “Remember A Time” in which you swear that chorus is something Weezer would write. It’s not a bad song by any means, but it’s certainly a random track that sits right in the middle of the album.
Their secret and almost ironic strength comes out on their heavier songs. Which almost makes you wish the band explores this sound more. SOTY were never incredible lyricists in the first place- so when the fast pissed of punk driven songs come into play, the straightforward lyrics meet evenly with the music. “To The Burial” corrects where “Welcome To Our New War” was overdone lyrically. “Won Threw Ate” (what a dumb title) blares in vengeance and vocalist Dan Marsala gets all pissed about racial/gender inequality. The album closer “Eye for an Eye” is full guns out which switches b/w hardcore punk verses and it’s metal-esque chorus (you can guess what the song is about from the title).
I didn’t know where to put this but kudos to drummer Josh Willis on this album-who smartly balances out musically with the constant shifting guitars and provides a strong yet smooth support. Also Dan Marsala continues to sing with strong vocals switching between soft sweet melodies and aggressive screams. The whole pop-punk meets hardcore/metal thing is in a very saturated and mediocre zone right now. However Story Of The Year continue to balance this incredibly well and this proof can be heard in The Constant. It’s easily their tightest album that is sure to serve as a summer soundtrack for many. Certainly recommended and worth a spin or two.