Sorority Noise – Joy, Departed
At first glance, an all male emo band named Sorority Noise would be enough for me to stray away. But after listening to their latest release, Joy, Departed, I remembered the dangers of judging the proverbial book by its cover.
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Joy, Departed deserves the title of emo, yet renders the genre a gem amongst stones. The first track, “Blissth,” carries soft-spoken poetry with a minimal echo guitar that wraps around you. Smooth strings wrap your eyes as lead singer Cameron Boucher sings low of longing. A climactic burst into a three hit final chorus allows a release that really starts this album off on an excellent note.
The album stays within its bounds and is motivated to grow past the abysmal feelings that it revels in. The second track, “Corrigan,” is another song of longing of what Boucher wants to be, the lyrics are mostly comprised of “I want to be,” and littered with an occasional cliché. Yet there are beautiful lyrics that shine through such as “I will never be the one you need… I only hope to be the solid ground beneath your feet.” The movement of the song echoes a combination of The Front Bottoms and Brand New, which to me is a beautiful sound.
Joy, Departed consists of some of the most sophisticated and well-constructed arrangements. A surge in progress from their 2014 debut Forgettable, which was so bathed in self-pity I didn’t get too involved. This album has ambition, and motivation, a rarity amongst bands in their genre. Sorority Noise also has the ability to change the sound, yet remain in their lane. The fourth track, “Nosley,” strays from the stylings of the prior tracks, yet finds its way back by the end.
Echoes of a Weezer influence is abound throughout. With “Your Soft Blood,” a Brand New verse leads into a mid-career Weezer chorus. Not in the sense of imitation, but in the stylings that come of writing about that similar feeling. It was at this point in the album where I truly decided that I loved it. It consists of the quotable, yet relatable lyrics and the distortion pedal stomps that make a sensation that anyone with unidentified anger and a long term depression wants to hear. The last minute of the track is a loud chop guitar and ringing backdrop that fades to a simple palm mute chug and the holy lyrics that define the track (“define me with long hair and cheap wine/define me as slurred lines and blank stares/define me with long hair and cigarettes/don’t chock me up to anything less than sin.”) Then ending with that convoluted blast of emotions that’s has been throughout the song. It’s beautiful and dark, much like Boucher and Joy, Departed itself.
“Art School Wannabe” is a standout track since it is those emo lyrics with an ironically happy tune. Parts of the track carry that sophisticated arrangement that I love about the album, yet most of the songs follow a generic sing-along style that I’m tired of. The bridge is a wonderful booze walk into the catchy chorus, which has some well-written lyrics, but loses its effect for me since it sounds like I’ve heard it before on a bad commercial. It’s odd to me how the album seems to show growth for the band, yet this song almost negates that.
Sorority Noise’s album Joy, Departed is one to give a spin. If you like The Front Bottoms or Brand New you’re sure to love this album. It’s nice to have an initial judgment proven wrong, and that’s what this album did for me. Support sad kids trying to get their shit together, buy this album.
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