The Story So Far
Under Soil and Dirt


4.5
superb

Review

by Dan Schultz USER (5 Reviews)
July 16th, 2011 | 315 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Take pop punk and make 10x catchier and 10x better. Introducing: The Story So Far.

Under Soil and Dirt is the debut full length California pop punkers, The Story So Far; on a side note this is also their first Pure Noise Records release. The band formed in 2007 and have released an EP before this.

Under Soil and Dirt might just be one of the best pop punk albums of 2011, possibly even years. It's honest, sincere, and overall(the biggest factor for me) is that it's 100% relatable. Parker's lyrical ability is amazing, he writes some of the catchiest pop punk hooks I've heard in a long time. Every time the chorus to Quicksand(One of my personal favorites) comes on I can't help but singing along to it. The fan favorite Mt. Diablo is absolutely captivating. The chorus sounds so big and completely makes the song. Parker's voice still retains some testosterone and doesn't have that typical "whiny" factor thankfully, however he has his flaws that aren't necessarily his fault, but the productions which I will get to later in the review.

The rest of the The Story So Far are pretty talented musicians. Guitarists Will and Kevin write some pretty catchy riffs that will stay in your head for days. The band also avoids breakdowns entirely; thankfully the breakdowns in pop punk trend is dying. Their bassist Kelen is totally audible and he has some pretty creative bass lines; for instance in the song Roam the bass is bouncy and it sounds pretty awesome. Kelen also provides backing vocals and they're pretty disappointing compared to Parker's. Kelen's voice suffers from over production which kills just a little enthusiasm for the vocal department, but compared to Parker's voice he's a decent counterpart. Lastly, Ryan, their drummer knows his way around creative fills and pretty good pop punk drumming. Overall, their musicianship is crisp and clean. The band does have an acoustic track that has the drums pounding in the back. Placeholder is one of the catchiest tracks on the album and one of my favorites. They couldn't have done it better.

As I said the album did have it's faults, the biggest problem that keeps it from being a classic is the over production on the vocals. Parker's voice does have some auto correction. At times his voice just sounds purely auto-tuned, but you can disclose this by watching a live video of them, the kid can sing and I wish they would have let him sound more raw then monotone, nonetheless he's a great singer. Kelen's voice though is purely autotuned, thankfully he doesn't appear much, but it's not totally ear-grating.

If the band lost the overproduction they can be the next big thing. They know how to write pop punk songs and make them catchy. They avoid cliches and have honest lyrics that you can apply to any situation. My personal favorites on the album are: Roam, Quicksand, and Placeholder. Also the intro song States and Minds is absolutely awesome with Parker singing, "I'm falling in and out again!" Which sets the tone for the album. Get Under Soil and Dirt, it sets a new standard for pop punk/melodic hardcore.


user ratings (654)
Chart.
4.1
excellent
other reviews of this album
YetAnotherBrick (4.5)
Precise but full of energy, a collection of strikingly well-crafted and strikingly hard-hitting pop-...

Atari CONTRIBUTOR (4.5)
A phenomenal, refreshingly consistent debut from a promising new punk band....

perry7united (4)
Fantastic debut album from The Story So Far...

Guzzo CONTRIBUTOR (4)
The Story So Far create an album that rivals Suburbia: I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing for be...


Comments:Add a Comment 
dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

First review in awhile. Let me know how it is?

pmmets07
July 16th 2011


5913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Agree with review 100%. I brought up the auto-tune on last.fm and got barraged by idiots saying "LOL DERE IS NO AUTOTUNE HE'S JUST GOOD AT SINGING". Obviously he's a good singer, he can hit the notes, they still chose to do pitch correction. I imagine this will grow on me.

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

It'll grow dude trust me, it wares off after awhile. It sucks they did that it kinda ruins the record for me.

Dismantle
July 16th 2011


398 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

this is okay. dont feel like reading : )

Carnifex
July 16th 2011


1918 Comments


Never heard this so I can't judge fully, but the writing is pretty solid.

Crowe
July 16th 2011


435 Comments


This sounds generic.

pmmets07
July 16th 2011


5913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

These dudes are like a much less trite Handguns

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Handguns sucks. They bore the hell out of me.

pmmets07
July 16th 2011


5913 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Yeah I was stoked on their latest EP for like a week then ended up deleting it. Their lyrics cover every pop-punk cliche that exists.

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

TSSF absolutely crushes them lyrically and musically.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

well it's weird that after some years of shitty pop punk there are a bunch of young bands pushing the genre forward right now

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

TSSF, Such Gold, TWY, and Crucial Dudes are my favorites from the genre. Well Such Gold is more straight forward melodic hardcore now.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

album rules, could be a five for anyone under 17

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Handguns is just everything wrong with pop punk. They steal from every other band. It's awful. So is Mixtapes.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

you might like Turnover (http://turnover.bandcamp.com ) and Basement (http://basement.bandcamp.com ) if you enjoy title fight and alikes

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Turnover rules and Basement made AOTY so far for me. Basement is better than Title Fight.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

yeah Shed was pretty bleh

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

I like Shed, but I Wish I Could Stay here was so much more emotional and they actually kept more of their catchiness around.

Leatherneck
July 16th 2011


661 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

wow well too many albums, what are your personal favorites from that list?

dansxdead
July 16th 2011


438 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Bangarang is meh, Such Gold rules and seeing them in a room with 20 people was AMAZING, Basement is amazing, Secret Lives is meh, Set Your Goals used to rule, Carousel Kings is pretty sweet, Crime In Stereo is more or less melodic hardcore/punk but they were one of my favorite bands, Caleb Lionheart is crap, Daggermouth is always missed I love them, Get Up Kids rule of course, Hear the Sirens is fun, Maker is awesome I just recently got into them, Polar Bear Club always rules, Pull the Pin sucks I hate them all they're all dick heads minus Cory(they're from my area), TTNY is good, Transit is the last one, but I know a bunch of them, Transit's my favorite from the list.



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