Review Summary: A phenomenal, refreshingly consistent debut from a promising new punk band.
Released in 2011, Under Soil And Dirt
is one of the most consistent pop punk albums I've heard in years (and that's saying a lot because I grew up listening to the genre). It really was the year for pop punk. The Wonder Years released the amazing Suburbia: I've Given You All And Now I'm Nothing
, and Fireworks proved they were no sophomore slump with their successful second album. The list goes on and on, but one of the years most impressive albums was undoubtedly The Story So Far's full length debut.
With its hardcore edge and in your face attitude, this debut is overflowing with energy. It literally doesn't slow down. 'Placeholder' might be slightly softer than the rest of the songs, but it's in no way a misstep. In fact, I'm happy to inform you there's not a bad track to be heard. This is due to the exceptional vocals by Parker Cannon and the album's blistering guitars. The better than average drumming is just the icing on the cake.
The album starts with the bouncy minute long opener that seemlessly bleeds into the second track, 'Roam'. By this time, the listener will already be banging their head. The rest of the album is just as good, but two of the best tracks have to be 'High Regard' and 'Closure'. Both songs have massive choruses and some of the best guitar riffs on the record. I also think it's important to mention that this isn't your standard pop punk. Sure, it's catchy guitars sound similar to New Found Glory, but if anything the gruff vocals are sure to please fans of Title Fight or Such Gold. The hardcore edge in Parker's voice manages to keep the songs from sounding overly whiny like many of todays pop punk bands. The lyrics are also above average, especially given the genre. 'Daughters' is a dark, but catchy song about alcohol and contains bitingly honest lyrics such as:
"Everything changes when the lights in the room are as low as you, but don't trip you'll sober up soon. Regain an honest perspective as you puke on the floor, can't remember why your knees are so cut up and sore. And to think that your somebody's daughter!!"
These lines are just a sample of some of the true to life lyrics that are glittered throughout the band's debut. Many bands succeed at making a catchy pop punk record, but often times the lyrics are cheesy as hell. These bands have a lot to learn from the likes of The Story So Far. They have proven without a doubt that catchy choruses and well written lyrics can coexist. Few bands in the genre have been able to craft something as close to perfect as Under Soil And Dirt
. I've been eagerly waiting to see what the band has in store for us next. Until then, I plan to keep revisiting their consistent, fast paced debut. It's more than worth it.