The Walnut Creek pop punk band The Story So Far are well known for their heavy pop punk sound. They first showed us that they’re capable of much more than that with their song “Clairvoyant,” off their split with Stick To Your Guns. The Story So Far’s newly released 5-song acoustic EP Songs Of only furthers the notion that The Story So Far is more than just an ordinary pop punk band.
The first track on this 5-song acoustic EP is “The Glass,” originally off What You Don’t See, their sophomore album. This version is much slower with dragged out vocals and the soft sound of a drum beat in the background. Throughout this album, it’s noticeable that there wasn’t much done to the sound in post-production, which is clearly evident in this track. This kept all the songs sounding as raw as if they were sitting and playing right in front of you.
The second song on this album, “Navy Blue,” is perhaps the most striking. The sweeping picking of the guitar and Parker Cannon’s soft-but-vibrant voice mesh together very well. The mixture of the lyrics and the emotion in his voice create a sad, but somewhat uplifting, melody clearly evident with the lyrics, “I hope this makes you sad” repeated a lot.
The next song, “All Wrong,” comes right after “The Glass” on What You Don’t See, except this version is only a mere 37 seconds. I would have liked to hear a full version- or at least a longer version- of this track because the acoustic style really worked for the rhythm of the song. Although, this track does work well as an interlude. “All Wrong” is immediately followed by “Bad Luck,” just like on What You Don’t See. In this track Parker Cannon goes between calm, almost talking vocals to soft yelling, as if he were supported by a full band; yet only a few acoustic guitars, an acoustic bass, and a muted drum set are backing him. This is a common style throughout this album. The mixture of the quiet yelling and overall softness of this song surprisingly works very well and the steady beat of the drums keeps you nodding your head throughout.
The last track on this album is a cover of Bob Marley’s “Waiting in Vain.” The Story So Far attempted to create a bridge between the two genres on this track. It’s an interesting take on the classic Marley song, but I’d rather hear an acoustic version of one of their more popular original songs, perhaps “Quicksand” or “Mt. Diablo.” The Story So Far is definitely trying to branch out and show their musical abilities with this album, and I think they truly accomplished that.