June 21, 2011 - Pure Noise
Imagine Dashboard Confessional’s Chris Carrabba fronting Taking Back Sunday, and you get a rough sense of what the debut album from California’s the Story So Far sounds like. While that is something of a crass analogy, these 11 songs do burst with the cathartic desperation of the former and the boundless urgency of the latter. Rough but catchy, raw but well-recorded, songs such as “High Regard” and the terse, broken-hearted indictment of “Mt. Diablo” threaten to burst with youthful, angst-ridden aggression. While these are powerful, punchy anthems, there are subtleties and nuances in the arrangements that elevate the likes of “Quicksand” and “Daughters” to be more than just another batch of angry songs sung by frustrated young men. It’s not perfect, but when an album exudes as much heartfelt passion and determination as this one does, it’s hard not to be impressed.