Review Summary: The Story So Far pt. 3I’m feeling indigo…..
When I heard this line issue forth from the mouth of Parker Cannon for the first time, I betrayed myself. I caught myself thinking, this feels familiar
. Never had I ever considered the fact that a new song from these pop punk heavyweights, The Story So Far, might feel less fresh than it had before and more like a retread. Parker’s lyrics have always been emotional, up front, and honest and I’ve always loved them dearly because of it. Even I had to admit though, he’s been singing about being blue for a good long while now, even if he’s just now using words like “indigo” to symbolize his sadness. I doubted myself for a fleeting moment. I doubted them for two. And then I told my mind to shut up and stopped caring
At its core, The Story So Far
is another watertight collection of angsty and fast paced pop punk tracks. Each and every song has the kind of hook meant for summer, and each and every one will get stuck in your head before you can fight it. For their third outing, the band doesn’t slack in delivering the surprisingly layered instrumentation they always have. It’s never been anything terribly complex, but all the instruments have their place and flow around each other in ways that pop punk isn’t exactly renowned for. The leads and rhythms play off each other well, with bass grooves pitching along underneath and technical drumwork (by pop punk standards) keeping everything together. All of which lays a beautiful foundation for Parker Cannon’s rough and tumble voice to rage over. His performance is as impressive as ever and his real talent shines through in his ability to mix a knack for melody with a vicious delivery that’s immediate and grabbing.
While much of the album is just The Story So Far doing what they do best, there are hints at experimentation to be found. The bass intro to “Heavy Gloom” is a simple but surprising trick for them, even if nothing after does the same. A few other places hint at something new, but few ever build on that promise. The one time it truly does is on oddball “Phantom”. Much like “Placeholder” from Under Soil And Dirt
it forgoes the upbeat pop punk energy for clean guitars. Unlike “Placeholder” however, “Phantom” is far more somber and slow paced. If anything it brings to mind the band’s last release, the Songs Of
EP. It’s just too bad the song is so short lived that its effectiveness is somewhat diminished. When compared to the album’s rather short runtime however, it regains just a bit of what was lost.
Parker’s lyrics, a great attraction for much of the band’s fanbase, is pretty much as on-point as usual. He’s still singing about regrets, anger, and lost romance of course, but his passion and honesty keeps things just as engaging as always. The theme of feeling “indigo” and “dark blue” runs through much of the album in a similar fashion to the “sleepy eyes and bony knees” of fellow up and comers Real Friends. As with the case of Real Friends, some may not resonate with it, but others will likely find it all the more relatable. In any case, it’s hard not to sing along to the hook Parker brings out on standout “Nerve”:
It’s all in my head, there’s not much I can do
You set your pace, I’ll keep mine too
Each time I chase, I feel dark blue
Confuse your face for someone new
The Story So Far have brought all the things they did well to their third outing. All their strengths are here in abundance and few fans can ask for much more. Even I can’t bring myself to say they aren’t just running the course to an extent, but at such an early stage in their career, it isn’t a deal breaker by any means. At this point, I’m content with not caring and singing along until the night comes on.