The Story So Far: What You Don’t See

Two years ago, punk band The Story So Far followed the traditional path to fame: release a nothing-to-lose debut album, put on the craziest live show in the country, and let the fans spread the word about this upcoming, rambunctious band. The formula worked, and The Story So Far kick-started it’s career. Naturally, a sophomore slump was expected. Could the young, Californian five-piece maintain momentum? Would Parker Cannon, the nineteen-year-old lead vocalist, live up to his potential and embrace his new leadership role? Above all else, would the new album be a sgood, if not better, than its’ preceding album? “What You Don’t See” answers these questions with empathy. Long story short: this album is loud, fast, and brutally honest. It will break some speakers, but it will get stuck on many‘Favorites’ playlists. The band picks up right where it left off—teenage drama. In the opening song, rightfully called ‘Things I Can’t Change,’ Cannon shouts, “This twitch in my fingers/Love-Hate it lingers/Sent it direct but the point must’ve missed her.” As the song continues, Cannon angrily sings about his frustrations with infatuation and growing pains. The album isn’t all about broken love, however. In fact, “What You Don’t See” is more or less like Cannon’s personal diary, and girls are just the footnotes of this page-turner. Since his life is now filled with international tours, late nights, and wild fans, it’s only natural that he should write about his experiences with the band. The record is meant to showcase the backstage troubles of a rising band. Since the fans don’t see everything (hence the record’s title) behind closed curtains, Parker Cannon and Co. have attempted to bring those sights and sounds to musical form. For what it’s worth, they are successful. In “Stifled,” Cannon repeatedly yells, “I’m so sore from sleeping on the floor,” frankly stating what it’s like to not have a regular home to live in while travelling around the world. However, he later admits that the pain will be worth it in the end. As the album progresses, The Story So Far display’s its songwriting ability. The first section (presumably, the first four songs) rapidly build up to a climactic trifecta, and the later section (the last four songs) ends the record on a somewhat strong note. The trifecta, therefore, was meant to be the best part of the album. Indeed, it is. The three songs that compose this trifecta (“Right Here,” “Empty Spaces,” and “The Glass”) all have intense rhythms fueled by relentless drumming patterns and ferocious guitar parts. Combined with some catchy hooks and Cannon’s unique voice, these songs are sure to become fan favorites. Without a doubt, they will become mainstays in the band’s high-energy stage show. On a minor downside, “What You Don’t See” doesn’t include much style variation. Every song generally has the same pace and build-up, and every song lasts around two minutes and forty-five seconds. There isn’t a slow moment during the entire album. Especially with the second half of the record, the songs tend to blend together and sound very similar. However, listening to each of these songs individually will separate these tracks from each other, making them much easier to recognize. Looking ahead, “What You Don’t See”might become a staple in the punk genre. The Story So Far should become the face of the punk revival, and Parker Cannon will lead this band to fame. Of course, not everybody enjoys this type of music. However, somebody who is looking for some new, energetic music should definitely buy “What You Don’t See.”Overall rating: 8.5/10 On a side note, I strongly recommend that anybody who purchases this album should buy the physical CD from Best Buy. The few pieces of artwork that are included with the lyric sheet are visually stunning. You just can’t get that from iTunes.