Since the release of smash hit album Under Soil and Dirt in 2011 which propelled them to the forefront of the pop punk revival across the globe, California band The Story So Far have become one of the most divisive bands within their genre.
Whether this be for the backlash over sexist and slut-shaming lyrics towards women, for their samey release What You Don’t See or for the sheer brilliance of the actions of vocalist Parker Cannon, fighting a security guard over the safety of a crowd surfer. In the midst of this furore comes the Songs Of E.P, showing the slightly unnerving calmer side of The Story So Far.
Opening track The Glass has been transformed from a storming pop punk hit to a slow and winding track with a slowly building introduction reminiscent of the likes of Real Friends before the first shock of the E.P is revealed, Parker Cannon’s singing voice over his iconic angry belting. His echoing, low voice suits the lucid and resonant chords of the song and gives the track a heartfelt, mourning edge instead of their stereotypical just plain angry style.
All Wrong, my favourite track from the album, has been condensed into a sombre 37 seconds which if listened to with your eyes closed will send you to sleep in seconds, not through boredom, but through the fact that Cannon can actually be incredibly soothing.
Closing track Waiting In Vain, the only track not featured on What You Don’t See provides a triumphant end to the E.P and a massive screw you to everyone who had them pinned down as just another misogynistic, whining pop punk band. This song is heartfelt and tender with the heartbreak almost palpable through the vocals and every strum of the guitar strings and beat of the bongos. It’s a slightly psychedelic and strange release for the band but one that shows they are truly diverse and talented musicians.
This E.P shows the Walnut Creek mob have still got what it takes to deserve the limelight; true dedication to music and striving to bring something new to the plate, their signature anger laced in all of their releases but also the ability to pull a few surprises out the bag and better themselves. A true must have in any pop punk fan’s collection.