Sound — 8
Since the release of their debut record "Under Soil and Dirt," vocalist Parker Cannon has only been improving. In The Story So Far's self-titled release, Cannon uses more of his lower range (i.e: "Phantom," "Stalemate") as opposed to the two previous albums they've released. As for the rest of the band, guitarists Will Levy and Kevin Geyer some diversity in their sound, mixing in a little bit of an indie vibe with their usual pop punk sound, and frequent use of guitar feedback with a flanger effect (i.e: "Smile," "Mock," "Solo"). Bassist Kelen Capener and drummer Ryan Torf use a lot of complicated rhythms, and the bass and drums prove to be a main part of the writing process (i.e: "How You Are," "Smile," "Nerve"). Overall, this Sam Pura produced record shows that The Story So Far isn't some generic pop-punk band, and that they're willing to try new things.
Lyrics — 7
You know the drill when it comes to Parker Cannon's lyrics: a girl has played him in some kind of way, and he shows that in less of a "you broke my heart" way, but more of a descriptive and borderline poetic way. However, with "The Story So Far," there's a common theme of him feeling "indigo" or "dark blue" in the lyrics.
"I feel indigo, you've got what I need
I'm indigo, you've got what I need
You’re not what I need"
"It's all in my head, there's not much I can do
You set your pace, I keep mine too
Each time I chase, I feel dark blue
Confuse your face for someone new"
Already using a lot of descriptions in how he feels about the situation, Cannon uses "indigo" or "dark blue" as more of how he himself feels. However, at times, I felt as if he uses those terms as a kind of "safe zone" when he was writing his lyrics, but despite this, he shows 100% honesty in his lyrics.
Overall Impression — 8
We all know a band's third record is the most pressuring of their entire discography; you either keep the formula that's been working, or you try something new and hope for the best. After listening through "Under Soil and Dirt" and "What You Don't See" and then shifting to the self-titled album, there is definitely a shift in the sound. The band is being a little more experimental with the instrumentation, and they're trying to prove that they're not just any other pop-punk band out there. I feel far from "indigo" about this new record; in fact, it's one of the best releases in 2015 as of late. With tracks such as "Mock," "Nerve," "Phantom," and "Heavy Gloom," this 10 song release that clocks in at a little over a half an hour is an album that grabs you and won't let you go until the second it's over.