Seven years in, and Walnut Creek’s pop punkers are still going strong. The Story So Far have done it once again, with their self-titled record that is filled with consistent angsty breaths.

It has been two years since they released What You Don’t See, a follow up record from Under Soil and Dirt that seemed too similar and generic. However their self-titled goes against all previous songs, and actually sounds different (there we all were thinking that pop punk was all the same). Breaking from the typical Americanised vocals and fast paced beats, the quintet have taken a matured approach to the album right from the very start.

‘Smile’ is an optimistically pleasant titled track that beings to set in gradually. The bands signature sent still lingers, but the overwhelming presence of Parker Cannon’s solid vocals overtakes the track. If you were hoping that this record was going to be any different than songs about breakups and a heartbroken teenager who doesn’t fit in, then you are wrong once again. It’s something that the band have attached onto, and works for them. Despite the generic-ness of the theme, The Story So Far always prove to overcome them.

Heavily filled with groovy riffs that bring a light-hearted edge, ‘Heavy Gloom’ is the song to scream your lungs to. A continuous riff plays throughout the track that tempts you to get up and move. It seems like the five-piece have decided to take a subtle step out of the overactive poppiness of their genre, and infused melodic blocks that filter to their sound accordingly.

It’s unquestionable that ‘Nerve’ is the banger within the album. Right from its release date, it was clear that the track sums up the new sound the band are adapting. Combining all punky and riveting tones, the track brings all aggression to the chorus where Cannon’s vocals explode with passion. He may still be caught up judging from the lyrical reference to bitter goodbyes, but this is what makes the band so bold.

Slowing things down, ‘Phantom’ takes their acoustic sound where Cannon’s vocals are beautifully highlighted by the soft strums of the guitar. Evenly paced the quiet song throws something completely new to the table, which gives the record an unexpected end.

Isha Shah

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