ALBUM REVIEW: The Story continues

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First Posted: 4/1/2013

After an incredible first release with “Under Soil and Dirt,” several successful tours with pop punk powerhouses such as The Wonder Years and Man Overboard, and a recent appearance on the cover of Alternative Press, The Story So Far had a lot to live up to on their sophomore album.

Fans we’re nervously crossing their fingers and holding their breath in hopes that they could continue to fall in angstful love with The Story So Far. The day “What You Don’t See” leaked before official release, it came as no surprise that every pop punk diehard immediately searched the web for a download. The album was officially released on March 26, and thankfully there is nothing to be disappointed about, unless you’re looking for an exact replica of “Under Soil and Dirt.”

“What You Don’t See” gives off the same frustrated, angry-with-society vibes as their first album, but just as many of their original fans have grown up a little since then – they have to. The lyrical content still wants to make you scream lines like, “Head on the wall / Tell me why I feel so small,” but it also contains a more mature tone, questioning life rather than simply yelling and expecting results.

Five songs in, “Right Here” is the climax of the depression the album exhibits and the line, “All I really want is to stay right here right now / There’s so much more to talk about,” creates a transition into the rest of the album, deconstructing the issues presented in the first half. The most powerful, haunting line in the album, “Swear all the pain’s done / No trace or tremor here / Or am I still numb? / Have I been this whole year?” comes along in “The Glass” and shows the underlying confusion and uncertainty that will not wane easily. The rest of the album finishes off strong with catchy riffs and strong instrumental punches, concluding with the realization and identification of the personal faults of the lyricist rather than placing the blame on others, exhibited in lines such as , “There’s nothing I hate more than pushing you away.”

Although the impact of “What You Don’t See” may not be as powerful and distinct as “Under Soil and Dirt,” the two albums together create a very pure context for the band as a whole. They stuck with their raw but well-produced instrumental sound and laid their conflicted emotions out on the table for pop punk lovers who find themselves leaning more towards punk to dig into and fill up. Now that they’ve proved they’re capable of staying above water, we can look forward to smooth sailing for The Story So Far, although they’ll probably continue to focus on the rocky waves they hit.

The Story So Far ‘What You Don’t See’ Rating: W W W V