Album Review
The Story So Far - What You Don't See Album Cover

The Story So Far - What You Don't See

Reviewed by
The Story So Far - What You Don't See
Record Label: Pure Noise Records
Release Date: March 26, 2013
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
It's wrong to say The Story So Far have grown up. Their wonderfully juvenile debut LP was one of those fuck-you-motherfucker releases us nihilistic douchebags turned into cuddle up music. "You're the worst you terrible idiot," is me paraphrasing - but also pretty accurate. So then, what now? Well, a couple of years go by and we get something like What You Don't See. Should singer Parker Cannon still be so pissed he can barely stand? Should the band still run through every single Set Your Goals song as if they've had a couple extra sips of (2010-era) FourLoko? Enthusiastically, yes!

Look, even though I'm about to expend about 1 BILLION words writing this review, it's as simple as this: I can't help but learn these lyrics just so I can scream them. Pop-punk flirting with hardcore this still is. Great. Move on if that seems disingenuous. Except wait, screw you. I'd go on a pretty far limb to say that The Story So Far are one of those bands just calling it as they see it. Whether these break-ups are their fault or not is a moot point. The songs that result are so heartfelt and raw that blame and circumstance barely even matter.

Every track basically plays out the same (although the production here is just INSANE - guitars sound huge, drums slap your momma, etc), but the urgency on songs like opener "Things I Can't Change" and mid-record standout "The Glass" force you to the pit, even if just mentally. Cannon's lyrics are full of eff-you-isms, but he's clearly been reading some books, as is the case on "Bad Luck": "I let this blind me / Forlorn in sullen head / Suffer your ill intent." College, bros.

But as loud as What You Don''t See seems at first blush, it's really quite thoughtful. Closer "Framework" plays with our emotions through smash-mouth singing and quick moments of instrumental reflection. "All Wrong" recounts the difficulties of keeping relationships while touring with symbolic gang vocals and break-the-fourth-wall lyrics, "No solace I miss the fuck out of all my friends / I think back to sleeping on the back bench / Wish I'd let the absence tell them all of the things that I can't ." God, immaturity is overrated.

It kills me when reviews spend their time referencing a different album, but I'm a hypocrite, so I feel it necessary to say that Under Soil and Dirt found me at a tough time. I was unsure how What You Don't See would hit me since I'm "different." It's so special to know that this band wasn't a time/place thing, but one who has tapped into my somewhat obnoxious need to hear people remind me that what is forthcoming is most likely going to be better. The Story So Far can easily be described as sadsacks, but that's missing the point. You don't sing lyrics like, "Grace me with nothing but patience" if you aren't poised for prosperity.

Recommended If You Like: New Found Glory, Set Your Goals, Maker, Citizen, Real Friends

InfoSCORE: 8.5
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 139
08:55 PM on 03/18/13
Ryan Gardner
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I love this record. Spot on review. And yeah, can't help but yell along to these lyrics haha
09:07 PM on 03/18/13
Aaron Mook
i will rank anything
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Aaron Mook's Avatar
Definitely a contender for pop-punk AOTY. It had to grow on me over a few listens, but I ultimately found it just as rewarding (if not more so) than USAD. The one-two-punch of "Empty Space" and "The Glass" leave me floored.
09:16 PM on 03/18/13
Ryan Gardner
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It's not often that the first songs released are my favorites on the record, but "The Glass" and "Empty Space" are in this case.
06:15 AM on 03/19/13
After everything, after everything
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Entoine's Avatar
Album grew on me, but still I think the vocal work on this is quite lazy and some songs lack catchiness
06:18 AM on 03/19/13
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jordalsh's Avatar
That's an outstanding review. I can't wait to hear it.
06:29 AM on 03/19/13
Zack Zarrillo
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Stifled and Empty Space are my favorite tracks on the record.
06:35 AM on 03/19/13
No Closer To Heaven
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Jaytothesyg's Avatar
Good review, I really like this record. I don't like it as much as USAD but there's definitely some lyrical and instrumental growth that suits them better then on USAD.

Favorite tracks are Things I Can't Change, The Glass and Empty Space. These songs are gonna be great live
06:41 AM on 03/19/13
Thomas Nassiff
retired staff member
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love stifled. entertaining and concise review per usual from blake.
07:10 AM on 03/19/13
Space Rock. shit exists.
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Great review. Not huge on this band, find Parker's vocals a bit irritating at times. Still will check it out though.
07:23 AM on 03/19/13
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VeryWittyName's Avatar
There needs to be more love for Small Talk, the chorus is awesome.
08:20 AM on 03/19/13
Sail Hatan
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Charlesieiy's Avatar
Great review, very entertaining to read. I think it's general consensus that The Glass is one of the best songs on the record. I love Things I Can't Change, Bad Luck and Face Value too.
08:32 AM on 03/19/13
Regular Member
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pissand409's Avatar
Really just pop punk done incredibly well. I enjoy the fact that they don't really pull any punches about it. They're good at what they do.

Really good review too, I thought it really got what makes this record great.
08:34 AM on 03/19/13
Registered User
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lovemetal24's Avatar
could use a few more hooks vocally
09:42 AM on 03/19/13
A Waste Of A Time
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avarice14's Avatar
Yeah, I feel like the choruses are way less catchy but the production kicks ass so that's pretty cool. I feel like some other pop punk albums coming out this year are going to be better, but there's not too much going wrong with this release.
The Glass and Empty Space are the two best songs here.

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