California pop-punkers The Story So Far are back with a new album, Proper Dose. The album stays true to the band’s precedence that they’ve set since their inception; vocalist Parker Cannon is going to captain us through some swirling guitars, some great melodies that are a lot like prime-era Taking Back Sunday, and a lot of angst too. If you’re a fan of pop punk with an edge, then you should know all about The Story So Far.
Proper Dose is an interesting record from The Story So Far. Sure, a lot of it blends in the chaotic swirl of noise and melody that rose to prominence when the band was first starting out a decade ago. A little more than half of the songs on the record follow a familiar formula that the band’s established. That style is great. It’s why a big chunk of the band’s fans listen to them in the first place, but there’s more interesting content on this record. When the band goes to it’s softer/acoustic side they really resonate on those songs on this album. “Take Me as You Please” features a nice melody and then some great guitar work in its chorus. “Upside Down” isn’t an acoustic track, but its somber content is matched with a moody bass line that let’s Cannon do his thing with the vocal on the track that much better. There’s also the stripped-down “Growing on You” that’s beautifully depressing and one of the best songs on the record.
The Story So far does some tremendous things on Proper Dose. It feels like a complete album and the band extending itself outside of their norm really works across this entire record. It’s cool to see that bands are still putting out some great pop punk records, this climbs to the top of the pile in the sub-genre this year.