Sorority Noise comes out swinging with their best album to date.
After a successful one-two hit of 2014’s Forgettable and 2015’s Joy, Departed, Sorority Noise has grown a reputation as a band that firmly wears hearts on sleeves, truly baring all for the sake of their music, and You’re Not As _____ As You Think is the band at their most cathartic and passionate. The blistering ‘No Halo’ is a phenomenal opener with beautifully intertwined opening riffs in lead and bass rolling by briskly but exploding with emotion in its soaring chorus, as singer Cameron Boucher cries out, “So I didn’t show up to your funeral / But I showed up to your house.”
As on ‘No Halo,’ death, grief, and depression prove focal points of the album. Whilst its instrumentation is more typically and traditionally punk-driven, the lyrics stand up with grunge and emo legends. Tracks like ‘Disappeared’ play out in similar fashion (“I felt my hair falling out / I felt myself falling down”) as does ‘A Portrait Of’ (“I’m not trying to say it’s easy / But I’m trying to say it’s fine / I’ve still got some demons and they’re not gonna be leaving anytime / Anytime soon”), with the emotional depth matching up to the confident songwriting and overarching sense of a more mature Sorority Noise than what has been heard before. It should, in theory, sound generic, but the band elevates it to new levels for a distinct sound.
Amidst this more frantic pace, You’re Not As _____ As You Think does have its slower, mellower moments. The melancholic shoegaze natures of ‘A Better Sun,’ ‘First Letter From St. Sean,’ and ‘Second Letter From St. Julie’ are sharp contrasts to the album’s more bombastic side, but still fit the overall tone and intention. It shows the band’s more complex and intelligent side, keeping them from being passed off as just another alt-punk act but also not becoming too bogged down in the all-too-common lethargic motions most subgenre bands tend to wallow in. ‘Car’ expertly combines the album’s two tones, mixing the powerful lyrics (“Be aware that I’m not who I used to be / I’ve had a lot go wrong with me”) for a further showcase of the band’s tremendous songwriting capabilities. ‘Where Are You’ plays out in a more upbeat fashion: with exhilarating riffs and zippy drums, it’s deceptively enjoyable despite the notably darker turn (“‘Cameron, how can I help?’ / Well you can meet me in Hell and take care of yourself”).
‘New Room,’ a sub-two-minute acoustic track with echoic production, is a wonderful way to bring proceedings to a close, as Boucher reflects on the journey of catharsis and heartache that You’re Not As _____ As You Think is. It’s rare to find a band with such dedication to such challenging, emotional topics in their lyrics, but it’s perhaps equally as rare to find one as simultaneously thrilling and musically capable. With some of their best songs yet and an undeniable sense of maturity and progression to their music, Sorority Noise’s kicks the third album hurdle out of the way and sprints ahead of the pack.
You’re Not As _____ As You Think is released on March 17th via Triple Crown Records