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CD Review: Story of the Year – In the Wake of Determination

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What’s the 4-1-1?
Sophomore release for the St. Louis-based group.

Genre
Modern rock / hard rock

The Good
The album kicks off with the anthemic “We Don’t Care Anymore.” The pulsing keyboards and forceful chorus chant really drive the track home. “Take Me Back” is set to a frantic pace and explores the simpler times of our youth through melodic vocals and catchy chord progressions. Dan Marsala’s vocals are more coarse and raw as he delivers his verses on “Our Time is Now.” Drummer Constable Wills is a madman on the skins here.

“Stereo” is an impactful song about the state of radio today and how we have become mindless drones by following what trends they set. “Five Against the World” could be the theme song for the group. The song is full of great guitar riffs and vocal harmonies. “Meathead” kicks up the distortion and accelerates the percussion to expose those guys that show up to concerts just for the drinking and fighting, not so much for the music. “Wake Up the Voiceless” is another track that treads on the anthemic side of things.

The Bad
Nothing notable

The Verdict
I expected another copycat band with Story of the Year, but in the end realized they are everything good rock music should be about. From beginning to end In the Wake of Determination is loaded with lots of energy, catchy riffs, melodic vocals, and memorable choruses. You really can’t pigeonhole the group into a particular style of rock music, because they can do it all (while still maintaining a defining sound of their own). Their diverse rock music influences make each track different and enjoyable for different reasons. If you’re not taking in Story of the Year, then you’re just missing out.

Did You Know?
John Feldman of Goldfinger produced Story of the Year’s debut album Page Avenue.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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About George Dionne