Review Summary: The Story So Far create an album that rivals Suburbia: I've Given You All and Now I'm Nothing for best Pop-Punk album on 2011.
I enjoy finding bands that are making their beginning. I further enjoy this hobby when a band is good. The only problem with this hobby is that in our current music scene, it is difficult to embark and find such a treat. So, when I was informed about up and coming band, The Story So Far, I was instantly intrigued. Upon listening to “Roam,” the distorted instrumentals, then the riff kicking in and finally Parker Cannon belting his first verse coinciding perfectly when the backing beat, I knew the possibility of something good was in the upper percentile. The rest of the album known as Under Soil and Dirt proved not to disappoint.
There is a lot of unoriginality found when you look at the pieces that create the band The Story So Far. Pop-Punk is known for catchy hooks, catchy riffs, lyrics about life (normally dealing with romantics) and a whiney lead vocalist. The Story So Far has 3 of those 4 attributes, with the whiney lead vocalist not included. The difference in these attributes and what The Story So Far attains is one simple fact: they do these 3 things better than most. A hell of a lot better. The ordinary Pop-Punk band creates one riff to last throughout a song; The Story So Far goes the distance and creates a riff only to continually change. Where one band will create a boring verse only to lead to the catchy chorus, The Story So Far creates a great verse and catchy chorus. The bands lyrics, as stated before, are nothing out of the ordinary, but they’re saving grace is the conviction through which Parker sells perfectly with his voice. Lines such as this from Rally Cap,
“I should have told you, when we were younger,
Talk quenches thirst, but does nothing for hunger
And I'm starving, it's been like this for three years now.
They tell me take it easy but I don't know how.”
come off sounding so damn sincere, that Parker does exactly what any vocalist sets out to do. Allow the listener to believe in the words he is singing.
Now this is not to say the album is perfect, but one can be hard set to find a multitude of faults. Where faults can be found are in Parker Cannons tone; you will not find him change his voice from high to low anywhere on this album. It is at a middle melodic-to-slight monotonous yell throughout the whole entirety of Under Soil and Dirt. It is obvious that the sound of this album is focused mainly on the voice of Cannon and the dual-guitar of William Levy and Kevin Geyer. What this creates ,unfortunately, is a very similar sound throughout the album no matter how many different song structures the band uses, and they use multiple types. The drums are never outgoing, just used to go along with whatever riff the guitarist are playing. If it is an up-tempo riff then the drums are much faster, if it is slower than the drum beat is slower. The bass, for me, at first listen was almost inaudible, only showing when the bass line was the main focus in the song (ex. Closure). There is a bass in every song, but one will have to go out of his way to hear it.
Under Soil and Dirt is a hard hitting Pop-Punk album. It’s ferocious, clocking in at around 30 minutes. It has the raw quintessential production sound that most bands in this genre have on their first LP. What is devoid on this album which differentiates itself from most is the ability to have lyrics and collective musicianship; normally found in veteran bands that were forced to live and learn from their first LP. This simple fact makes me anxious to see what is found above the Soil and Dirt.
“And if you think you're fine go ahead follow that line
At least none of my friends do what they're told
By what they're sold”