The Story So Far

Proper Dose

Written by: PP on 23/02/2019 14:15:11

You gotta give it to Parker Cannon: I honestly didn't think he could keep pouring through the mic with such emotional charge and intensity four albums down the line as he did on debut "Under Soil And Dirt" seven years ago, yet that's exactly what he's doing on "Proper Dose". The opening three tracks of the album are signature style The Story So far pop punk: powerful, aggressive, and consistently in-your-face vocal delivery, yet at the same time infectiously catchy pop punk tracks with instantly memorable sing-along choruses to boot.

It sounds like a simple formula, yet it's actually quite hard to get right, as Like Pacific demonstrated on "In Spite Of Me" last summer. The omnipresent danger and the real question mark is: how the heck do you vary your sound enough to keep it interesting for an album's worth of songs if you just explode out the mic every song but otherwise go for straight-forward pop punk through and through. To be perfectly frank with you, The Story So Far haven't quite solved that problem either, except they are capable of writing a few fantastic bangers per record that carry the album on their own weight.

On "Proper Dose", those tracks are the opening three, plus the fifth song "Let It Go", and the seventh song "If I Fall". When you look outside these, you see (failed) attempts to vary their sound: "Take Me As You Please" is a skippable acoustic track (who wants an acoustic track on a non-acoustic album as track #4? Tracking fail). "Upside Down" is a cliché ballad that's as cheesy as it is cringeworthy to listen to. "Line" seems like complete filler, and "Growing On You" is another whiny ballad.

See where I'm getting at here? The Story So Far are in an impossible dilemma: they have to experiment with their sound because otherwise, it'd become saturated and mind-numbingly boring after a few years. Yet Parker Cannon's high-energy chant isn't suitable for much else than the home-run batting that he brawls over the mic on songs like "Keep This Up". So I predict a rather stagnant future for The Story So Far going forward: they will continue to write decent records like "Prope Dose" that have some excellent pop punk bangers but that are dragged down by lack of consistency and/or variety in the end. So the fan base will continue to be there but is expansion realistic? Relentless energy only takes you so far, unfortunately.


Download: Proper Dose, Keep This Up, Out Of It
For the fans of: Like Pacific, As It Is, Four Year Strong
Listen: Facebook

Release date 21.09.2018
Pure Noise Records

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