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The Story So Far – Under Soil And Dirt

Becci Stanley


Arguably one of the best pop-punk records of modern times, this is the product of excruciatingly hard work from Walnut Creek, California, and is at the forefront of the rising popularity of pop-punk today. In my eyes, this is one of the most heartfelt, powerful and downright awesome album written, despite all eleven songs being about how women can be absolute demon bitches and rip out the hearts of young men, who happen to have a very interesting way of releasing those feelings much to my ear’s delight.

First track States and Minds sets the album to anthemic proportion with a simple yet effective opening and Parker Cannon’s bellowing voice screaming “I’m falling in and out again” over and over again, becoming louder by the repetition, but believe me that this will not be an album you fall out of in the slightest. Second track Roam highlights everything that makes TSSF such an epic band. They have both powerful and meaningful lyrics that are almost too relatable and makes their music more like a friend than an abstract concept, but they also know how to control their instruments. Combining both spine-tingling guitars, with ear splitting drums and going silent only when highlighting the bile behind Parker Cannon’s beautiful voice.

Firm fan favourites High Regard and Daughters have become classics, almost mantras amongst fans because of their ability to both tear a room apart at live shows but also because of the pure hatred and backlash in the words.  It’s the sheer attitude behind this band that is making them stand out from the rest of the pop punk bands, instead of being sunny and happy go-lucky, they take a look at their lives and instead of whining, they blast back with a massive “screw you, I’m worth more than that and won’t dwell on that”. It is evident within both of these songs the punk and hardcore they hold dear from the visceral and light-speed paced guitars along with complex and other-worldly drums.

Placeholder slows all of this down being partly acoustic, whilst still keeping a ballsy edge and showing that TSSF do have a softer, loving side. It does amuse me however that despite this being slow and friendly, Cannon still remains bellowing his feelings down your ear drums instead of being soft and melodic. It’s fast becoming a trade-mark.

End track Closure is a personal favourite to mine and a song I will forever hold dear. It ends the album in a mind-blowing fashion, more hardcore than pop-punk, it showcases a darker side to them and a possible future direction. With a short and fast pace two verses and chorus, the song quickly delves into a lengthy guitar solo before pure vocals, adding a ghostly, uneasy and ultimately spine-tingling climax before the album unwinds into soft guitar chords.

I cannot even stress how amazing this album is. I would love to meet the girl who made this album possible by being so heartless, and shake her hand for this gift to all music lovers.