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Video: Story of the Year – Bang Bang

Story Of The YEarStory of the Year has premiered a new music video.  The video features the song “Bang Bang” from their new disc, Wolves, which dropped last week through the band’s Pledge Music campaign.  Orders can be made here.

Watch the video below.

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Story of the Year Streams New LP

Story Of The YEarStory of the Year has premiered a full stream of their new disc, Wolves, which is due out on today through the band’s Pledge Music campaign.  Orders can be made here.

Listen to the album here courtesy Fuse.

Video: Story Of The Year – 20 Years From Now

Story Of The YEarStory of the Year has premiered an new music video for the song “20 Years From Now.” The song will appear on the disc Wolves, which is due out on December 8, 2017 through the band’s Pledge Music campaign.  Orders can be made here.

Listen to the song below.

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Story Of The Year – Miracle

Story Of The YEarStory of the Year has premiered an new song from their first new album in seven years.  The track is titled “Miracle” and will appear on the disc Wolves, which is due out on December 8, 2017 through the band’s Pledge Music campaign.  Orders can be made here.

Listen to the song below.

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Story Of The Year Announce New Album; Stream New Song

Story Of The YEarStory of the Year has announced details for their first new album in seven years.  The disc will be titled Wolves and is due out on December 8, 2017 through the band’s Pledge Music campaign.  Orders can be made here.

Coinciding with the announcement, the band has premiered the song “Bang! Bang!” which can be heard below.

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Video: Hawthorne Heights ‘Golden Parachutes’

HawthorneDayton emo band Hawthorne Heights have produced a video for their song Golden Parachutes, which is taken from their 2013 album Zero (check out our review of it here). The video follows the post apocalytpic lyrical themes on the record, with a slight steam punk twist. You can check out the video for yourself, here.

The band are also on tour with Story of the Year and Like Moths to Flames amongst others this autumn. Full dates below:

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Story Of The Year – Until The Day I Die (Acoustic)

Story Of The YearStory of the Year is streaming an acoustic rendition of an old favourite.  The song is titled “Until The Day I Die” and is set to appear on the 10th anniversary of their celebrated, landmark album, Page Avenue, called Page Avenue: Ten Years and Counting, which is due out on October 8, 3013.  The band comments on the song:
“”Until The Day I Die” is one of the biggest songs of our career,” says singer Dan Marsala.  “It’s a song that really connects with a lot of people.  We wanted this version to be an intimate and mellow take that would be a good platform for the lyrics to really shine through.  It’s a classic relationship song and this laid back vibe really fits it well.”
 
“Creatively speaking, one of our main goals for Ten Years and Counting was to fully utilize the piano and allow it to be the driving presence & focal instrument within these songs, as opposed to just recording a couple of acoustic guitars and throwing a vocal on top,” adds guitarist Ryan Phillips.  “This version of “Until the Day I Die” strongly exemplifies that mindset and allows the song to open up and breath, giving a stronger focus on the lyrics and vocal melodies. I’m pretty stoked on it, especially toying with arrangement a bit and adding a little guitar solo. Fun.”
Listen to the song here.
Live Concert Review

Story Of The Year, Hawthorne Heights, Anberlin, Halifax

Live (Jul. 23rd, 2006)

Ed's Rec Room - Edmonton, Alberta
By

 
 

 

 

If you follow my reviews at all, you’ve probably saw me mention the fact that Red’s in Edmonton would be closing soon, that Saves The Day would be one of my last concerts that and then that Boys Night Out was my last concert ever in the venue. In a way, it was the end of an era since my first punk show was in that venue and now it was gone; but at the same time it was good because it meant a new venue would be popping up soon. But the truth of it is that I lied, and Boys Night Out wasn’t my last concert there. Dropping the “R”, Red’s became “ed’s” for the month of July before closing down for all of August for new renovations and a new name (rumored to be The Venue) and when the co-headlining show of Story of The Year and Hawthorne Heights got moved from Shaw Conference to Ed’s Rec Room, it seemed as if I would be making one final stop at the venue which introduced me to live music.

Since the door opening was delayed, I walked in a few songs into Halifax‘s set with a slightly pessimistic view for the concert due to the fact that I was dead tired and all my friends had decided to not go to the show at the last minute. Nevertheless, Halifax put on a pretty decent performance, playing songs like Hey Italy, Better Than Sex and fan favorite, Sydney. Of course the highlight of the entire set was when they pulled out the perfect rock tune Our Revolution and got everyone to shout along the chorus of “Hell Yeaaaahhhh!!!!”. The band put a lot of energy into the set, particularly the singer who ran around quite a lot; but for me the stage presence was stolen by the guitarist on the right who personified the rock god of the ’80s perfectly with carefully messed up hair, tight jeans, an old band t-shirt, jumping on the speakers and playing the axe with his tongue – it was great.

After a twenty minute wait of making new acquaintances, Tooth & Nail up and comers Anberlin took the stage and while I wasn’t particularly looking forward to them, I was still rather surprise and disappointed. The first thing I noticed was the singer, how his vocals sounded a lot different than I had remembered and how the entire sound seemed to be harder than it comes across on the album. I took a step past by little startle at the change of sound and decided to take it was if I had never heard the band before, watch Anberlin with a clean slate in front of them- and yet, I couldn’t take them seriously. There was something about the singer’s personality that got to me. He sure as hell wasn’t lazy (unlike Hawthorne Heights‘ front man, but we’ll talk about that later) as he jumped around and was sweating profusely after the first song. It was how he portrayed himself, somehow very stiff, constantly rubbing his hair (once, at the back of the stage, he stopped to make sure his hair was still flat). It wasn’t a bad performance, I just couldn’t get into it.

Next up was supposed to be Hawthorne Heights, so I was surprised to see the shaven head of the Story Of The Year front man take the stage after an amazing introduction of Arnie’s Pizza Shop andStar Wars (easily one of the better stage entrances in a while). At this point in time, let me also mention that I had promised myself I wouldn’t mosh so that I could rest a bit after being to three concerts in the last three nights, including Warped Tour and AFI where I didn’t sit at all – but as soon as they ripped into the first song I couldn’t help myself. They put so much energy into the performance that the crowd, and myself, ate it up and went insane. Vocalist Dan Marsala jumped into the crowd, letting them sing, went crowd surfing and entertained the audience with some pointless banter every once in a while; so not only did the band sound good as they played a wide selection of new and old songs, but Marsala was also a good front man for the job. After the hour long set, I was sweaty, happy and was glad I decided to come; but sadly, once Hawthorne Heights took the stage, I quickly remembered why I wasn’t that excited to be there.

For you see, Hawthorne Heights put on a very boring performance, and their hour long set felt like so much longer. There was very little energy coming from the lead singer as he simply stood still, playing his guitar and singing into the mic stand; and while the one of the guitarists did go crazy, even his antics became boring after a while. The only song I could really determine were Nikki FM and Pins And Needles as the rest all merged into one. Even though I wasn’t expecting much from the band, I was still let down as they put a damper on the whole evening – if only it had been Story Of The Year who closed, then the night would’ve been a better success.

Story Of The Year Celebrate 10-Year Anniversary With Acoustic Album

Story Of The YearSt. Louis rockers Story Of The Year will release an acoustic version of their 2003 album Page Avenue to celebrate their 10-year anniversary. The new vision of this record is called Ten Years and Counting and debuts self-released Oct. 8, 2013.

Vocalist Dan Marsala commented

“Page Avenue is an album that completely changed my life. Every song reminds me of five wide eyed kids from St. Louis chasing their dreams. I never could have imagined where these songs would take me. Ten years later I still love these songs so much. Some of them have taken on completely different meanings that relate more to my life now. Reworking and re-recording this album brought back so many amazing memories. We knew we wanted to do something special for the ten year anniversary, something that would honor the original songs but at the same time give everyone a completely different experience. We basically stripped down every song and started from scratch. I love the vulnerability that shines through on this record. These songs have truly stood the test of time and I couldn’t be more proud to be experiencing 10 years of ‘Page Avenue.’ Here’s to another 10 years!”

The band composed a preview teaser of this upcoming album, which may be viewed here.

Catch Story Of The Year on their upcoming “Scream It Like You Mean It” tour at the dates below.

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Story Of The Year - The Constant

Story Of The Year

The Constant

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

In late 2003, post-hardcore was the in-thing in the punk rock scene.  New bands were coming out left, right and center and bringing with them a wave of agitated music that merged together classic punk and hardcore elements with a slightly melodic tinge. Labels picked up any band that sounded remotely similar to them and promoted the hell out of them, hoping that eventually one of them will hit and make it big.

Story of The Year were one of those bands that made it big; not because of luck, but because there was something inherently good with their breakout album Page Avenue. Dan Marsala’s vocals stood out in the crowd, switching from passionate screams to more melodic singing with ease. Their musicianship was tight and their live show was fantastic – and ever since then, they’ve been trying to recapture that status with each release and always falling a bit short.

Their follow-up, In The Wake of Determination, was a flop and while their Epitaph debut The Black Swan showed a definite improvement – Story of The Year still weren’t able to return to that plateau of success.  Now we’re given their fourth album and second Epitaph release, The Constant and with it we get the exact album that we knew we’d get – whether that’s good or bad is up to you to decide.

The Constant is an incredibly solid punk-rock/post-hardcore amalgamation that hits all the right spots for an energizing listen but fails to stay all that memorable. Marsala’s vocals are still strong – whether he’s giving a more rock-oriented (think Jared Leto from Thirty Seconds to Mars) in I’m Alive or grabbing the mic with both hands to let go a blistering guttural scream like on To The Burial.  The band mixes it up just as much, offering more radio-friendly rock tracks like The Dream Is Over along with some straight out, balls-to-the-walls hardcore songs like the frantic closer Eye for An Eye; and while both styles fit with the Story of The Year sound –  it’s hard to ignore some of the hooks that the band has put out here –  you can’t help but think that they’d be better off if they left the rock tracks behind them.

The rock songs are good in their own right – hell, the bridge in Ten Years Down becomes one of the highlight of the album, just squashed between an otherwise forgettable track – they’re just nothing special when compared to what else is out there. When they pull it back, make it a bit less accessible to the general public and truly accept their hardcore roots is when The Constant shines. The barrelling drumming along with old-school Davey Havoc-like vocals bring the two minute Eye For An Eye to a new level of energy undiscovered in their more radio-friendly tracks like Time Goes On.  The guitar solo rips throughTo The Burial and the gang-vocals chorus would create pile-ons like nobody’s business at a concert.

Like most Story Of The Year releases, The Constant works as a solid offering that doesn’t quite live it to Page Avenue but shows that if they stripped back the post in their “post-hardcore” style and went straight out hardcore than they’d finally be stepping out of the shadow of their breakthrough release. It’s good, just not always all that memorable.

Story Of The Year - The Black Swan

Story of The Year

The Black Swan

Epitaph Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

When a band has been around for a few years with a couple albums under their belts you can more often than not take a guess as to what their new album will sound like. Unless they’re a band that recently underwent some sort of reinvention period or a band that is constantly evolving with each record, it’s pretty safe to take a bird’s eye view look at the band’s new album and guess what it would sound like. Story of The Year are no different. With two albums under their belts and a live CD/DVD, Story Of The Year have pretty much solidified their general sound and despite leaving their major label for greener pastures at EpitaphThe Black Swan still follows that general sound. But that doesn’t stop it from being the band’s strongest effort yet.

In the same way that Story of The Year blasted through the speakers on In The Wake Of DeterminationThe Black Swan starts off very heavily with Choose Your Fate. By far the heaviest track on the record, Choose Your Fate can be slightly off putting with its guttural screams and breakdowns but it still grabs the listener’s attention right away, making them think that maybe The Black Swan won’t be exactly as they expected. In a way it’s not, but the rest of the songs sound a lot closer to what you’d expect. The next song, Wake Up, shows that. A much slower track than its predecessor, Wake Up sounds like a cut from Page Avenue (particularly And The Hero Will Drown) but with an explosive chorus that leaves the more polished vocals behind.

For the most part, The Black Swan is a progression from The Wake Of Determination in that it is heavier than what you’d normally hear but still built with enough melodic bits to capture the listener’s ear. This contradiction between heavy aggression and a more melodic output will most likely be annoying to some, but The Black Swan is able to straddle that line relatively well. With some songs that feature the rock oriented sound of Thrice (the title track being the example) and others the screamo style of The Used‘s Lies for The Liars era (Cannonball), the album is diverse while staying in the same general direction. The oddest track in the mix is Tell Me (P.A.C.) which seems to borrow the final verse from Linkin Park‘s recent Minutes To Midnight album. Somehow that sticks out more than the piano-led balladTerrified.

It is, however, when the band stays with their truly signature style that The Black Swan stands out. The band sounds best when they allow their melodic side to take control akin to Page AvenueMessage To The World and We’re Not Gonna Make It, a song that tells the story of an interracial couple trying to find acceptance, both stick out with a chorus that grab the listener’s ear and makes them sing along.

Another note that must be pointed out is how strong Dan Marsala’s vocals are throughout the record. Whether he’s screaming it out on Welcome To Our New War or crooning softly over Terrified, Marsala’s vocals sound much better than before, more controlled and confident and it comes through on the recording.

So other than the occasional moment here or there that sounds a lot heavier than you initially imagined, The Black Swan is what we’ve come to expect from Story Of The Year. It seems to be much stronger as a whole than the band’s earlier work even though it rarely deviates from the general SOTY sound but if you’re a fan, then that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Story Of The Year - Page Avenue

Story Of The Year

Page Avenue

Maverick Records
By

Rating: 3/5

 
 

 

 

Story Of The Year exploded out of St. Louis, Missouri five years ago. The five piece punk rock band extends the limit of punk with an original sound which includes portions of pop-punk melodies mixed in with screaming vocals. Their new CD, “Page Avenue” is filled with 12 tracks all pushing the limits of punk and opening our minds to a new catchy sound.

The thing which stands up above all else in Story of The Year is the vocals. Sometimes they are smooth and melodic, perfect harmonies singing great lyrics, while other times they are loud and harsh, screaming while still having a melodic feel to it at times. Each song combines the two sorts which creates a variation in their sound. It makes it so that each track has something to look forward to. Breaking away from the generic pop-punk sound is what the vocals do best though. Even when they are the softer vocals, you still get a feeling of true power behind them, something which seems to be lacking in a lot of bands today.

A song is nothing without being backed up by great melodies and riffs, and Story Of The Year does just that. The guitar and bass work is simply amazing. The riffs are catchy and always fit in perfectly with one another along side the vocals. The drumming is good, but not amazing. It tends to be in the background most of the time, only take the step up front once of twice. But that is what the band needs, if it was overpowered by drums it would ruin the sound.

The only real band parts of the album are after tracks 11 and 12 (“Razorblade” and “Falling Down”). After the first, they have some sort of weird chant which sounds like an African chant and after the second they have the band messing around in the studio, That can be somewhat entertaining but there really is no need for it.

Story Of The Year - Live in the Lou

Story Of The Year

Live In The Lou / Bassassins

Maverick Records
By

Rating: 2.5/5

 
 

 

 

There are so many live DVDs coming out these days, that you never know what ones to get. Luckily, Story Of The Year‘s Live In The Lou / Bassassins starts off ahead right from the beginning by not only giving you a DVD, but also a CD of the live show. And then, on top of the live show on the DVD, there is also a mini one hour documentary on the band’s last two years. So right away, this one looks like it will take the lead, but still the question lingers: “Is it worth it?”

Let’s look at it in two parts for now. There’s the live section and the documentary. With the CD and live show being off the same show, they of course sound the same. The CD is good. Plain and simple. The sound is clear and vivid, and you can hear the crowd clearly scream along in the background making it so it really feels like a live album. Dan Marsala’s vocals are strong as he yells and screams through all the songs from Page Avenue on the last Nintendo Fusion Tour date. They do talk a bit, but not so much that it becomes annoying, just enough to keep you entertained. But after only listening to the audio version of the live show, you miss some things. Things that you can only pick up from the DVD version, so of course, that comes next.

The Live In The Lou aspect of the DVD sounds good, just like the audio CD did. The band puts tons of energy into their set, and it shows as they jump around and sweat like crazy. They keep it entertaining by switching around instruments in Falling Down. Dan takes over drumming duties from Josh Wills as he takes control of yet another guitar and surprising everyone, Matt from Letter Kills comes on for vocals. After that, on Burning Years, Adam Russell drops his bass and runs into the crowd. Running up the stairs, you then see him on the balcony where he jumps off and lands in the crowd. Oddly, as soon as he lets go the screen turns black and they say:

“We had to remove this due to legal reasons.
The bald eagle is an endangered species.”

Or something to that effect. That’s not the only mistake on the live show too. Before it starts, it lists the dates: November 12th and 13th 1987. What those dates mean, I’ll never know. The live DVD is a good view, although at times it does get dark and is really shaky. It will probably be something you will only watch once before putting it away for good. The CD is a lot easier to play then the DVD.

The other half the DVD is the Bassassins section. But for such a young band, they really don’t have much to put on it, and it shows. They fill it up with pointless ramblings and idiotic interview questions where they change all the words around. It is slightly entertaining, but as it goes on you just get bored. You don’t really learn anything new about the band or its members, just see them doing stupid stunts and tricks. Its okay, but only okay. If they had waited a few more years then they could’ve done a really good documentary.

Sadly, the best part of the DVD is all the extra features. They have the three music videos for Anthem Of Our Dying DayUntil The Day I Die and Sidewalks along with some acoustic AOL Liveperformances. There is also a Making Of “Sidewalks” section, and this is very interesting to watch. You actually learn how they did it and their ideas behind it all. If the rest of the documentary was like this, then it would be worth it so much more.

Story Of The Year‘s Live In The Lou / Bassassins is good for huge fans of the band. But casual fans will want to stay clear from it, as it only gives you one new song (The Heart Of Polka Is Till Beating) and the documentary won’t be worth it.

 

Story Of The Year / Like Moths to Flames / Hawthorne Heights / Set It Off / I Am King a/ Silverstein

Story Of The Year has announced that they will be headlining this year’s ‘Scream Like You Mean It’ Tour, presented by MerchNow and Hype Clothing.  The band will be accompanied by support from Like Moths to Flames, Hawthorne Heights, Set It Off, I Am King and Silverstein.  Scream it Like You Mean It co-founder Matthew Stewart expressed his excitement:

“We are very excited to be bringing the most memorable and SILYMI tour to date.”

The band is currently celebrating the tenth anniversary of their hit album, Page Avenue.

This Week On JBTV: Against Me!, The Loved Ones, Cobra Skulls, Bouncing Souls

This week’s episode of JBTV, hosted by Tobias Jeg (Red Scare) and Brendan Kelly (Lawrence Arms) features an in-studio performance by Against Me!, as well as video premiers from The Loved Ones, Cobra SKulls, The Bouncing Souls, Modest Mouse, and Story Of The Year.  This will mark Against Me!‘s second appearance on the show in September.

Watch the video below.

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Video: Story of the Year – I'm Alive –

Epitaph RecordsStory of the Year have released the first video single from their sophmore Epitaph Records release, The Constant. The track, “I’m Alive,” is also the album’s lead single.

The video can be seen below.



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