The Story So Far

Ashley Winward

The sophomore album is the biggest test and fear of almost any band in the music industry. The ability to make an even greater second album to avoid the “One Hit Wonder” label has plagued artists for decades.

The Story So Far hit the pop-punk scene in 2011 with Under Soil and Dirt, leaving most to wonder if their new album, What You Don’t See, would be able to compete. The band, hailing from Walnut Creek. Calif., has debuted their second album with a top 50 spot on the Billboard 200 charts. What You Don’t See brings you everything you love about the band while still having a fresh new take on their old sound.

What I noticed most about this album was how much cleaner their sound has evolved in the past two years. The way that Parker Cannon and the boys can still sound raw and hardcore while being so tight and in sync instrumentally at the same time is really awesome to hear. Cannon’s voice even sounds like it’s gotten stronger while still keeping that unmistakable tone quality I absolutely love.

The Story So Far has a very simple formula that works: pop punk instrumentals with hardcore vocals and down to earth lyrics. They give us plenty of all three on the new album. I think this band has burst onto the scene so strong because of how relatable their lyrics are to fans. The way that Parker expresses love, friendship and loneliness, among other topics, is so natural and real that it’s like I’m hearing his innermost thoughts.

You can see it in the way he performs as well; the video for their new single “Empty Space” shows how amped up he gets performing, growing intimate with the crowd and letting them sing along into the microphone. I’m hoping I get the chance to be one of those people when they hit the Vans Warped Tour this summer.

My favorite tracks on this album would have to be “Right Here,” “Empty Space” and “Things I Can’t Change.” They just finished their Suppy Nation tour with Man Overboard and friends, so you’ll have to wait to see them tear up the East Coast at Warped this July. If TSSF can show this much growth and maturity on just their second album, I think that they will be a pushing force in the pop-punk scene for a very long time.