Holy shit! Story of the Year are back with an absolute banger of a comeback album!
I have been a fan of Story of the Year since 2006, getting hooked on their awesome sound and lyrics when I first heard In The Wake of Determination. December 2017 is the year in which Story will be releasing their fifth studio album titled “Wolves”, which will be their first release since 2010’s The Constant! Almost 7 years since their last album, dang that’s a long time!
The band is formed of vocalist Dan Marsala, lead guitarist Ryan Phillips, bassist. rhythm guitarist Philip Sneed and drummer Josh Wills. So for their new album the band became independent for Wolves and went about this by putting together a Pledge Music campaign to help fund the project. The album was produced by Aaron Spinkle, who has worked with bands such as New Found Glory and MXPX to name a few. This album will be the band’s first release since the departure of bassists Adam Russell, who left back in 2014.
I was one of the fans who pledged towards the album and as a result I got a download of the full album on the 1st December, before it is released worldwide on the 8th December so I got to hear it before anyone else which was pretty dope! The album starts with a short 52 second intro and then jumps straight into the first song “How Can We Go On”, which is Story of the Year at their best, with a pretty epic and anthemic track that kicks in with some amazing guitar work. I will say this, listening to this album you wouldn’t think that the band had a 7 year hiatus as it sounds like they never left the scene.
The next track “Bang Bang” was one of the first songs that band released to give everyone a taste of a 2017 version of Story of the Year. The song itself has an explosive chorus that you can’t help but nod your head along to and it really is one of the standout tracks on the record. Another song that really stood out to me on the album was “Miracle” as it has a darker tone to it with another epic chorus that you want to sing at the top of your lungs. The song mixes the guitars well with some electronic beats and some use of keyboard that just all come together so brilliantly and is a track that will soon become a favourite among fans.
One of the songs that has some real meaning and emotion behind it is “Give Up My Heart” which for me could be considered a love song and it soars through your ear drums, going straight into “The Eternal Battle For Mike Cronin’s Soul” which has all the elements of a classic Story of the Year song which also features the “Wolves” intro from the start of the album and I thought that was pretty cool when I heard it. The song has some pounding screams from Marsala which just kicks ass and is a reminder why you can’t help but head bang and wanna rock out to this band.
For me personally I think that “Wolves” feels like a very personal record and is a reflection of what the band has been through over the last 7 years. It feels like a more mature Story of the Year and their musicianship has never been stronger. I definitely feel like when I was listening to the album it really dives into deeper themes to do with life, relationships and things that we have all encountered at one stage or another. In a way it felt like a soundtrack to my life as I could relate to every word in every song and that is the sign of an amazing album. The record did not disappoint in the slightest and was so worth the wait!
I have been a fan of Story of the Year for years and I think they are a seriously underrated band and deserve so much more recognition that what they have. “Wolves” is an album that has so much variety that you can sink your teeth into and has so many different stories being told throughout each song. The record really has this 80’s vibe to it and the concept of the band being a biker gang has created some awesome imagery and concepts giving a fresh new sound for 2017 rock music. I could not recommend this album enough and I really look forward to hearing these songs live! I have never seen Story of the Year live and after hearing this album, they are a band that are on my must see list!
Honestly, go pick up a copy of “Wolves” as it’s an amazing album and could possibly be one of the best record’s of 2017!