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The Story So Far Showcase Why They’re The Best In The Genre With ‘I Want to Disappear’ 8.5
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The Story So Far Showcase Why They’re The Best In The Genre With ‘I Want to Disappear’

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Walnut Creek pop-punk staples The Story So Far have returned with their fifth full-length album, ‘I Want to Disappear’. This marks their first full release since 2018’s ‘Proper Dose’, almost six full years in between records. This album dives into mainly the theme of losing a loved one and the process throughout, and others such as love and self-reflection. Sound wise, this record harkens back to the roots of this band and the reason why they’ve been such a huge staple in the scene, as well as progressing in terms of songwriting.

The record kicks off with a bang with the third single from the album, with “All This Time”. This song feels like the perfect summation of The Story So Far‘s sound captured beautifully and fully on one track, and it’s a great way to open this record. The chorus is huge, and the lyrics hit especially hard diving into the process of preparing to lose a loved one. “All this time you’ve just been counting down, making plans for when your light goes out” is such a straightforward and hard-hitting lyric that puts you right into the perspective of vocalist Parker Cannon. And there’s plenty of those kind of lyrics all over this album. It transitions nicely into the next song, and immediately too with “Watch You Go”. It continues off the hard-hitting and fast vibe the first song had to offer. The drums delivered by drummer Ryan Torf on this feel so old school and truly apart of this band’s roots and their DNA at this point, it’s as pop-punk as you can get really. Shoutout to the track which I feel will be an underrated but a strong one, with “I’m still concealing the way that I’m feeling, and my way of healing may never be enough”. We follow up with a more chill one in comparison, and the second single with “Letterman”. I immediately felt Transit vibes the first time listening to this and every time since. This track is a great example of how wonderful this band has aged and progressed with each album, plus it’s a great breath of fresh air after the first two nonstop tracks. The contrast between the chill verses and a powerful chorus is such a wonderful mix to this song. It dives even further into losing a loved one lyrically, especially with the line from the chorus “Even if I close my eyes and fantasize, it’s never gonna help me admit that you’re gone and to just accept it”. It’s such a genuine lyric and the song’s vibe really fits these lyrics incredibly well.

We pick the energy back up with “Jump the Gun”, which captures more of the signature TSSF sound we’re familiar with. The energy on this track feels like it almost sums up their entire discography, which is very cool to see. The chorus of this feels like it’s meant to be screamed aloud at a live show, as the first one feels pulled back and the second comes in hot with the energy. Shoutout to the guitar delivered by guitarists Kevin Geyer and Will Levy, the crunch of it during the bridge comes across in the song’s favor. I also appreciate how the bridge is delivered with such ease and it goes into the outro with an acoustic guitar so seamlessly. We reach the end of the first half of the record with the first single, “Big Blind”. This one just feels like the pure epitome of a summer track, and it gives off ‘What You Don’t See’ vibes like crazy. It’s such a fun song, the melodies are at an all time high, and the instrumentals give off such a nostalgic vibe to it. I know this is re-recorded from it’s original recording from last year, it still delivers the energy and catchy nature as it did last year with this band’s return after so long. We start off side B to this album with possibly my favorite track overall, with “Nothing to Say”. The drums once again feel absolutely annihilating here, and it gives off real 2010’s pop punk vibes overall. I think Parker uses his middle range on this track like an absolute pro, and the melodies are delivered ever so gracefully. The change in tempo was a surprise, but a very welcome one and it makes this track stand out tall amongst the others. I definitely can see this one in particular going over so well live and with their fans. The vibe at the second half of this track is followed up expertly with the next one, with “Keep You Around”. The lyrics here shine the most on this record for me, as it dives into losing a loved one and what it means to grieve. I know it’s very personal to Parker as it’s specifically about him losing his dad, and the emotion comes across beautifully. The line in the first verse where it showcases the feeling so well, “If I take some time to cry and just recover, then maybe I can be there for my mother”, absolutely top tier songwriting. The feeling of nostalgia in the sound, mixed with these hard-hitting lyrics make for a wonderful track that I’m sure a lot of their fans will hold dear to them. 

The energy carries on with possibly the most classic pop-punk leaning song on the record, with “You’re Still In My Way”. It’s a song that feels perfect for summer and warm weather especially, and feels like I’m back at Warped Tour honestly. Parker‘s range shows off quite well here, and it’s wild to see him grow so much as a vocalist from those first two records. The outro to this track feels quite nostalgic to the roots of pop-punk, with the layered vocals and it just gives such sunny day energy. We’re onto the penultimate track of the record, and a more chill one with “White Shores”. The first half of this track is more on the unplugged side, and it feels very 90’s throughout this song. The emotion comes through once again with these lyrics, diving into the main theme of the record. One lyric that stands out in the chorus is “you’re not there to pull me back down from the ledge”. The full band coming in after the first half being more on the chill side feels so well-earned, as Parker belts out the same lyrics with such passionate delivery. This one is another easy highlight off this record, and one I’m sure fans will gravitate towards as well. We reach the end of this record, which feels quick in its pacing by the way, with the title track. It’s a fully acoustic track with the vocals so soft spoken and chill throughout. I appreciate the majority of this album being high energy and to end the record with a couple more chill track feels like we’re seeing this band showcase all sides of them and what they excel at. And this one’s another great example of just how far Parker has come not only as a vocalist, but a songwriter especially and this whole album shines with it. 

To no one’s surprise, ‘I Want to Disappear’ is a display of why The Story So Far are one of the absolute GOAT’s of pop-punk, and why they stand apart from their peers with deeply personal lyrics and melodies so specific and tailored for them. It’s a perfect record for summer and hits all the right notes you’d want from this band, especially in 2024. It’s one of the best records this year and anyone who’s a fan of the genre should definitely give it a whirl, and this was absolutely worth the almost 6 year wait. 

Verdict

8.5

Final Rating8.5
Reader Rating: ( 2 votes ) 8.7

Mathew Abraham I love movies just as much as I love music.
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