The grassroots, back-to-basics authenticity of THE STORY SO FAR is a blast of renewing fresh air over the most stale corners of the underground music community. The fact that it’s resonated with so many kids around the world is testament to just how starved the scene had become.
Like their single-focused predecessors in legendary pop-punk bands Blink-182, Green Day, or The Descendents, the five guys in The Story So Far got together with no loftier an ambition than to make the music they wanted to hear. Along the way, they just happened to help usher in a pop-punk revival. It’s a “return of the real” that’s made a sea change across the underground.
In just a few short years, a handful of EPs and three full-length albums, The Story So Far’s refreshing, energetic and impressively honest take on hardcore-infused pop-punk music propelled them to the cover of the 2013 Alternative Press 100 Bands You Need To Know issue, to the enduring subcultural benchmark the Vans Warped Tour, and into the hearts and minds of listeners.
Catchy vocal gymnastics and supercharged riffs are delivered with no less precision than the most accomplished of rock acts but disguised by an instantly memorable simplicity that drives the hooks home. The band’s sophomore album, What You Don’t See (2013), delivered on the undeniable promise of Under Soil and Dirt (2011) and cracked the Billboard Top 50 at the same time. The band returned to close collaborator and comrade Sam Pura (Basement, State Champs) for their self-titled third sent, a no-bullshit, wistful but forceful adventure in song.
The group’s focus on songwriting, storytelling and relatable jams worthy of blasting in the darkest of times or in the most relaxing of pursuits continues to resonate with an ever-increasing throng of supporters, in Europe, Japan and Australia, and in clubs and theaters across North America, where The Story So Far has toured with The Wonder Years and Man Overboard.
This is music to fall in love to, to heal a broken heart with, to celebrate personal victories, or trudge through life’s hardships. The Story So Far rejects the runaway complications and tired clichés that started to spoil the authentic passion of punk and hardcore, trimming the fat away from the standard chugging guitars and laying as much heartfelt emotion into the music as catchy hooks.
Choruses that demand to be screamed along with at sweaty shows where audiences share a transcendent experience through the communal experience of good old fashioned pop punk, and music that often blurs the line between aggressive rock and bouncing enthusiasm, without ever losing its genuine edge and uncompromising veracity. What began as five kids in the same neighborhood, barely out of middle school, who just wanted to play music, has blown up into a sweeping wave of fist-pumping realism, crashing down on the pretentious and the pretenders.
Whether the band is destined for the large venues and record sales of a band liked A Day To Remember, or even the arena level commanding presence of Blink-182, it’s safe to predict that The Story So Far will be doing it for real, doing it for the right reasons, and carrying their own gear into house shows and basements with as much gusto as they exhibit at Warped Tour.