Release Date: Mar 17, 2017
Record label: Triple Crown Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock
After months away on a whirlwind tour, you return to your hometown for brief respite. While there you decide to visit your mate - possibly your best friend as a teenager - who you haven't seen in an age. It'd be good to catch up, exactly what you need after such an exhausting stint on the road. You pull up outside his house, and are withered by the screaming remembrance that he's been dead for a year.
It's been a long, arduous few years full of thinkpieces by hip outlets who previously shunned the genre, but it's safe to say now that emo has officially been revived. The trio of labels that helped usher it back into relevance -- Run For Cover, Topshelf and No Sleep -- has either diversified their rosters, lost their biggest bands to larger indie (or in some cases, major) labels, slowed down operations entirely or a combination thereof. As for the bands originally pegged as the leaders of the #emorevival, some have streamlined their sound for more appeal.
Numerous oft-quoted studies have equated a sleepless night with being legally drunk: you get the lowered inhibitions, impaired decision making, and depressed functionality, all without any of the buzz. And so Cameron Boucher's first lyric on Sorority Noise 's third LP explains a lot of what's to come: "This last week/I've slept eight hours total." From that point forward, You're Not As _____ As You Think tries to rouse itself from that despondency the best way Sorority Noise knows how: towering twin guitar leads, blinding bursts of distortion, instantly quotable lyrics where the vocals jump up an octave. It's the kind of record that would be called "triumphant" if Boucher was in a position to enjoy any of it.
Sorority Noise have always strived to embody all of life in its heart-wrenching complexity. From contemplations of loss and feeling lost to life-affirming declarations of resolution, it's all there. With the release of third album ‘You’re Not As ___ As You Think’ the band take it to a whole new dynamic. Lead single and opening track ‘No Halo’ serves as a potent introduction, intimate reflection recounted along storming riffs and stadium-sized rhythms.
Marked by songs that played like a louder, spunkier Bright Eyes or Death Cab for Cutie, Sorority Noise's second album Joy, Departed may not have sounded like it at first blush, but it marked a turning point in singer Cameron Boucher's struggle with addiction and mental illness. His wry, self-critical lyrics described his lowest moments and greatest fears, then went looking for -- and ultimately found, it seemed -- a sense of agency and rehabilitation. But sometimes, just as things are getting better, they get a lot worse.
A year after 2015's breakout Joy, Departed album, Connecticut-based emo act Sorority Noise returned with the incessantly bleak It Kindly Stopped for Me EP, a quietly desperate four-song set devoted to four of frontman Cameron Boucher's friends who, in quick succession, took their own lives. In a genre prone to inflated expressions of suburban ennui, few artists are actually thrust so legitimately into the deep end of depression and still manage to maintain their careers. Kudos then to Boucher and his comrades, who continue to use their music as both a therapeutic scratch pad and outlet for personal catharsis.
Something borrowed Cameron Boucher has lost a lot of friends, and it seems to be the only thing on his mind. His tremendous loss isn't hiding in the subtext of You're Not As ___ As You Think - it's constantly right up in your face: "When your best friend dies / and your next friend dies / and your best friend's friend takes his life. " Cameron's religious beliefs offer him a perspective on death and loss: "And they're playing the '59 Sound in heaven / While the angels were drinking up whiskeys and coke.
Coming from a genre notorious for glorifying teenage angst and spite-ridden suicide , Sorority Noise really only found themselves when they stopped wishing they were dead . In 2015, the band evolved past whiny pop-punk provocation on Joy, Departed , where they added heavier chords, heart-wrenching lyrics, and just enough strings. But maturity comes with setbacks, and for frontman Cameron Boucher, the recent deaths of two friends--one to suicide, one to a heroin overdose--sent him spiraling into anxiety and depression.
If you're familiar with Sorority Noise, then you'll know what a trip Joy, Departed was a couple years ago. It deconstructed vocalist, Cam Boucher's, battle with depression, in detail. It was unflinching, brutally honest and very intimate to say the least. It's not often you get, even the emo-est of bands, to dive into such personal territory with such vulnerability.