Review: The Story So Far — Proper Dose

Category:  The Arts
Thursday, September 27th, 2018 at 5:05 PM
Review: The Story So Far — Proper Dose by Ben McCullough

★★★★

Three years since their last release, the West Coast pop-punk rockers, The Story So Far, put out their latest album “Proper Dose” on Aug. 21. The band has once again proven their musicianship; this time pushing their skills to the next level through their attentive layering of sounds. The band also introduces more textures than ever before while driving every song to its full potential.

“Proper Dose” is an 11 track, 33 minute experience of the band pushing their creative boundaries and formulating a new basis for their music. With the release of the singles “Take Me As You Please” and “Upside Down,” fans were given a glimpse at the band’s newly developed songwriting approach, and their ability to slow down their music. 

Front man Parker Cannon opens up more doors for his listeners by tanking an introspective approach to his lyrics. Cannon’s vocal style does not carry as much energy as it has with previous records, however it is made up for by his most authentic lyrics to date. Themes of detachment, renewal, family, and moving forward are tied around a look into Cannon’s opiate addiction, which he made public as of recent.

With lyrics from Cannon such as “Barely focused anymore, the haze is all that I can see, red bottle white cap” from the title track “Proper Dose” and “My pessimistic views stem from all the drugs I use” from the track “Keep This Up,” listeners hear a new side of the songwriter. On previous records, Cannon has been quick to throw the cause of his problems onto others; now hearing him take responsibility for his actions shows his growth and maturity as a songwriter.

One of the three singles released, “Let it Go,” showcases guitarists Kevin Geyer and William Levy’s [1] dynamic lead and rhythm guitar arrangements, for which they are known for, along with their experimental use of electronics and acoustic guitar. The song opens with a bouncy acoustic guitar riff, and rips into the classic energy filled tempo, that is The Story So Far.

Songs such as “If I Fall” and “Need to Know” feel fully composed and are brought together by layered vocals and melodic riffs. Vocal tracks are mixed with sustained synthesizer chords, creating a fluid, spacey backing to both of the songs up beat pop punk roots.

It is refreshing to hear the band progress both instrumentally and lyrically. “Proper Dose” does not redefine the The Story So Far, yet no longer brands them as one of the many pop punk bands today. Overall the album stands out to be the bands strongest release yet.

Ben McCullough can be reached at ae.spectator@gmail.com.

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