Words by Sam Townsend
Story Of The Year have been one of the most beloved and influential post-hardcore/alternative rock bands of the last two decades, and their new album ‘Tear Me To Pieces’ is sure to please fans old and new. From start to finish, this album delivers an exciting and energetic sound, with anthemic choruses and catchy hooks that will have you singing along in no time. The lyrics are thoughtful and heartfelt, and the instrumentation is top notch. With a mix of hard-hitting rockers and more mellow, emotionally charged tracks, ‘Tear Me To Pieces’ is a must-listen album. LISTEN HERE!
Formed in 1995 in St. Louis, Missouri, the band released their debut album ‘Page Avenue’ in 2003 and it was an instant success. Story Of The Year’s sound was described as a mix of hard rock and punk, and their catchy hooks and energetic live shows quickly made them a hit with fans. ‘Page Avenue’ was certified Gold by the RIAA, and spawned several hit singles including Until the Day I Die, Anthem of Our Dying Day, and Sidewalks.
From their early beginnings in St. Louis to their latest release, Story Of The Year has consistently produced quality music and maintained a loyal fan base. The band’s relationship with Australia has also been a strong one having toured the country multiple times, and met with adoration from Australian fans. In 2017, the band also performed a special one-off show in Sydney as part of their 15th-anniversary tour.
Though it’s not just in Australia where Story Of The Year have found success. The band have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards, and their music has been featured in several films and television shows. These successes are a testament to the band’s staying power, and their ability to create timeless music.
Their latest album, ‘Tear Me To Pieces’, is a collection of 11 tracks which showcase Story Of The Year’s signature sound and style. This new album is a return to their roots, featuring the same emotive and melodic sound that made them so popular in the early 2000s. The band’s trademark songwriting style is on full display here, with frontman Dan Marsala’s passionate and personal lyrics taking centre stage. It shows Story Of The Year have not lost their edge, and are still capable of creating fresh, exciting music. There’s something for everyone on the album, from the hard-hitting rock anthems to the emotional ballads.
The album opens with title track Tear Me To Pieces, a rousing, anthemic track with explosive guitar riffs and emotionally charged lyrics which immediately sets the tone for the album. The song is a powerful one about the pain of heartbreak and the struggle to move on. Lead vocalist Dan Marsala’s vocals are particularly strong on this track, conveying the raw vulnerability of the lyrics.
As the album progresses, Story Of The Year moves between hard-hitting rock anthems, emotional ballads, and upbeat, poppy numbers. Real Life is a mid-tempo rocker with a catchy chorus and a driving beat. The song deals with the struggles of dealing with the mundane aspects of everyday life, and how we sometimes just need to let loose and have some fun.
Afterglow is one of the standout tracks on the album, with its haunting melody and soaring vocals. It’s a song about the aftermath of a relationship and the feelings of regret and longing that come with it. The chorus is particularly powerful, with Marsala singing “I can’t let go of the afterglow.”
Another standout track is Dead and Gone, with its heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums and deals with the struggles of addiction and the toll it takes on both the addict and those around them. Similarly, War, a politically charged number about the current state of the world and the conflicts which plague us all, contains some of the band’s strongest guitar work on the album.
Can’t Save You is a more introspective track, with Marsala’s vocals taking centre stage over a simple piano melody, whilst 2005 is a nostalgic trip down memory lane, and follows the band reminiscing about their early days and the music which inspired them.
One of the more uptempo tracks is Sorry About Me and has a driving beat and a catchy chorus. Then there’s hard hitting Knives Out which sees a return of the band’s aggressive guitar work – fitting for a song about the struggles of being betrayed by someone you trusted, and the feelings of anger and betrayal that come with it.
‘Tear Me To Pieces’ closes with Use Me, a powerful ballad about the struggles of addiction and the toll it takes on both the addict and those around them. The song features some of the album’s most emotionally charged lyrics, with Marsala singing “I’ll be your pawn, your punching bag, your sacrificial lamb.”
‘Tear Me To Pieces’ is an excellent album which showcases Story of the Year’s versatility and songwriting skills. The lyrics on the album are also top-notch; frontman Dan Marsala is a masterful storyteller, and his lyrics are filled with emotion and imagery. Story of the Year have crafted an impressive album which has taken their signature sound and added a new layer of depth, making for an engaging and memorable listen; it’s a testament to the band’s staying power, and their ability to create timeless music. So if you’re looking for a band which can consistently deliver quality music, Story of the Year are the ones for you! PRESAVE HERE!
Australian fans can catch Story Of The Year live in action this month as part of the inaugural Knotfest Australia in March 2023, with the band set to perform alongside Slipknot, Parkway Drive, Megadeth, Trivium, Northlane and many more.
Story Of The Year are: Dan Marsala (Vocals), Ryan Phillips (Guitar), Josh Willis (Drums) and Adam Russell (Bass/Vocals)
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Thanks to Dallas Does PR