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Story of the Year - In the Wake of Determination (Cover Artwork)

Story of the Year

Story of the Year: In the Wake of DeterminationIn the Wake of Determination (2005)
Warner Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: pastepunkpastepunk
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Laugh if you want to, but I had an epiphany of sorts concerning Story of the Year when I caught them at the Warped Tour this past summer. These guys put more heart and energy into a 30-minute set than virtually anyone else on stage that day, jumping around and running side to side, while never losin.
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Laugh if you want to, but I had an epiphany of sorts concerning Story of the Year when I caught them at the Warped Tour this past summer. These guys put more heart and energy into a 30-minute set than virtually anyone else on stage that day, jumping around and running side to side, while never losing control of the massive crowd or letting their smiles slip off their faces. Even pedestrian choruses that cried out "Until the day I diiiiiiiiieeeeeeeeee" took on new forms of life when channeled with unquestionable conviction and spirit.

A little more than two years after the band's wildly popular Page Avenue full-length put Story of the Year on the map, In the Wake of Determination plays the role of the safe yet slightly progressive followup. Although the band's tales to the press about their new found musical growth are more overblow than accurate, Determination moves a few paces away from the modern screamo sound the band became to personify and lends stronger nods to the Epi/Fat sound of the mid-90s. With sizzlin' guitars that race forward in the vein of the Offspring on "Take Me Back" and the bombastic metallic crunch displayed on "Pay Your Enemy," Story of the Year do a lot more than set their listeners up for "the hook." On this album's heavier moments (and there are many, many more of them compared to Page Avenue), these guys bust out some Stretch Armstrong-like breakdowns -- tight and powerful, but not quite enough fodder for the pit dancers.

On the same coin, this puts tracks like the single "We Don't Care Anymore" and the senselessly memorable "Stereo" in precarious positions, suddenly sounding too glossy for their own good. The group's speedy tune "Meathead" has a solid melodic hardcore foundation (seriously), but the massive recording style unfortunately sucks all the life out of it. Regardless, vocalist Dan Marsala shines unconditionally on Determination, truly coming into his own among the screamo denizen. Of course, I still think he sounds like a guy who could do a spot-on Jon Bon Jovi impression, but that's just me.

If Page Avenue gave off the perspective that Story of the Year magically appeared out of thin air, armed "suprisingly" with the sound of the moment (meaning, the Used), then Determination does quite the opposite and recognizes many of the influences that previewed punk rock's ascent into the mainstream years and years ago. The differences are obviously in the details (and perhaps obscured too much by typical major label production qualities), but they're notable nonetheless. This disc is loads of fun if you allow yourself to be entertained, and it has become a reliable source of morning pep at Pastepunk HQ.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
krid1987 (July 20, 2007)

ok....thats all there is with a few great tracks like "sleep" and "pay your enemy"

Anonymous (December 31, 2005)

Let me just say that 90% of you people bashing have only heard either:
1) their singles
2) the first album
The problem is that the album is nothing like either. It sounds a lot like strecth arm strong (as mentioned in the review i doubt half of you read) and even bullet for my valantine.

Next time you comment listen to the whole album first.

Anonymous (December 15, 2005)

Great album with the awesome addition of guitar solos. Their live show is the best part of this band

Anonymous (December 5, 2005)

Crap, their last album had a couple songs, but was ultimately ape shit on a stick. Plus what's with the album cover? Someone has got one mad STD to be sploogin green like that.

This band sucks, and i need a drink

Anonymous (November 1, 2005)

The singer wrote that comment, that's why.

Sirens (November 1, 2005)

Dude below me,

Chill the fuck out, maybe some people dont want to be famous...or even in a band. Maybe some people hate this music. Calm down dude.

Sirens

Anonymous (November 1, 2005)

I find it hard to believe that people call story of the year talentless when over the past two to three years they have gained fans all over the world and where are you, sitting at your fucking computer typing bullshit comments, and who are you, who the fuck knows wo who the fuck are you to make such judgements. I read one comment saying that they weer never not on a major label, that doesent mean they didnt do copius amoutns of work to get where they are today, if i recall they were all in previous bands prior to story of the year and they have all been invloved in music in one way or another for over 10 years. So hows this for your review, good luck to story of the year, a band who puts on one of the most energetic live shows i have ever seen and with ease tears apart many hardcore bands that people willinlingly follow because they are undeground. Fuck you all i'm out

p.s its so cool to try spot an underground band and as soon as they make it big because of their talent people shit on them HA your all sheep fuck of and die.

Anonymous (October 30, 2005)

This band should die

Anonymous (October 30, 2005)

"And to the people that judge the CD by the album cover, you seriously need to step of the shallow end of the water."

Ok, not only does the album cover suck, the music does too.

Happy now?

Anonymous (October 30, 2005)

The album cover is the only memorable thing about this album. It's silly, referential, cheese. The Alien movie style dragonfly, the Poison writing, the lack of a real cover... whoa. Kind of ridiculous that their label let them release a super produced "rock" effort with such a laughable cover. But it's cool.

The actual music is really really bland and forgettable. I just don't seem to get why anyone, band members included, would be interested in this. I don't get the sense that this is important to anyone involved. I had a lot of work to do today and left the album on in the background and it was on repeat for about 3 hours and I don't seem to remember a single thing about it. Totally forgettable. You would think I would at least have wanted to go back and hear a riff or a breakdown or a bridge or a clever line or catchy chorus, but NO. None of that exists here. None!!!

That is the kind of album this is.

So, who listens to this? And why? I mean. It's not offensive. But why listen to it if you can listen to something else? and why post a review of it? Why not post a review for something more interesting? I know you have reviews waiting in the queue.

Angel-Jin (October 29, 2005)

This album is a step up from what they used to play. SotY used to blend into the emo/pop-punk style with the singles from the last song.

This CD sounds alot more like Falling Down from the last CD, and most of the songs sound alike, but for those of you who liked "Falling Down" from the last CD, this is more of that, so you should enjoy it.

soty isn't punk or emo as far as i'm concerned. this is just alternative.

i'm also noticing a trend in the insults here....they're the exact same copy and pasted crap from every other review i've read. It's okay to voice your opinion on music, whether it be "THIS IS AWESOME!!!111oneone" or "This bad sounds worse than a dry vagina getting pounded" but fucking hell, learn to use words instead of the same extremely tired insults and absolutely pointless remarks, which make no sense.

And to the people that judge the CD by the album cover, you seriously need to step of the shallow end of the water.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

Anyone watch the episode on Story of the Year at www.youhavebadtasteinmusic.com? that was pretty funny

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

I'm from STL and go to a lot of shows. I grew up near Page Avenue and never heard of them until their major label debut. Something stinks!

JamNeely (October 29, 2005)

That girl is poiiiiiisonnnnnnnn.
Poison
P-P-Poison
Poison.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

What kind of propaganda?

The movie is schlock-cock Sam Mendes.

The book is somewhat sensational, but pretty good and reasoned, though he's not a writer.

For a really excellent look at life for American troops in Iraq (albeit 2003) check out the book "Generation Kill."

ElVaquero (October 29, 2005)

Jarhead looks a LOT like propaganda

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

1. No one actually listens to Poison, seriously. But it can be pretty fun, in small doses.

2. The artwork is significantly better than the album. That is true. That is because the album is GOD AWFUL!!!!

3. What on earth were they talking about a few months ago talking about how John Feldman overproduced them and how their new album was going to be more authentic and about who they really were? This album, like their last album, is a bunch of candyass felch fodder. It's a good thing Feldman now done with these guys and is on to producing relevant acts,

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

I guess the artworks cool if, say you listen to shitty bands like poison.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

What are you all talking about?

The cover art and the writing are the BEST things about this album.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

I've said it once i'll say it again semen covered dragonflys are definatley the in thing at the moment.

Anways

Dear Story of The Year,
Please Get A New Graphic, Artist And, Or Break Up.

fingers crossed on both accounts.

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

"Is it a problem that this is my bus and my ICE????" 'nuff said...

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

Scott - have you ever had a blowjob from a buck-toothed chick?

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

if you doubt this cd, listen to song number 12, i dare you! it ROCKS so hard!

Anonymous (October 29, 2005)

this album seriously rocks! anybody into all those hardcore bands on the fat comps years ago will love this stuff, it is that good! i would have been embarressed a couple of years ago to be a story of the year fan, but not any more. btw this is a far cry from emo, and screamo, try metal and early hardcore.

fritobandito (October 29, 2005)

how can a person start an argument with "u guys r so stupid" and expect to be taken seriously?

TheCaptain (October 29, 2005)

I hate bands like this. A bunch of pansies attempting to be "hard." Not to mention all this shit sounds the same.

JamNeely (October 29, 2005)

"I totally dig war movies (my fav's are Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, 3 Kings, etc) that give the perspective of just how fucked up war is."

Pork Chop Hill > Hamburger Hill

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

I second that.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

Speaking of "actual punk records that are actually relevant to the punk scene," where's the Hilary Duff review?

localh (October 28, 2005)

Is this band even punk? I have never listened to them and probably never will I was just wondering.....

GreenVandal (October 28, 2005)

"u guys r so stupid, okay i will be the first to admit, page avenue was like 2 out of five stars. But this album blew me away, song number 12 is the best song i have heard all year. this cd is the greatest thing to hit the scene for a long ass time. remove any preconceptions of this band you may have and buy this album. it kinda reminds me of some fat stuff circa mid 90's, and some 80's guitars, and some really really powerful screaming. This album is way better than that piece of shit thrice record I bought. don't miss out on this, they no longer sound like a crappy generic emo band, the single is the worst song on the cd."

I was waiting for this guy to show up.

Hey "that guy", get some perspective before you declare story of the years newest album as the best thing to hit the scene in a long time. I seem to remember a propagandhi (sorry if i mispelt that) record coming out like last week. Actual punk records that are actually relevant to the punk scene usually are more important to it then manufactured major label screamy pop rock.

etwiels88 (October 28, 2005)

Sickboi, I thought it was great. Gyllenhaal was excellent. I heard a lot of the book (that the movie was based off of) was exaggerated though.

McGarnicle (October 28, 2005)

I've heard nothing but good reviews of Jarhead, but I've only seen like 3 because it comes out in like 2 weeks.

colton (October 28, 2005)

Hahahahahaha.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

u guys r so stupid, okay i will be the first to admit, page avenue was like 2 out of five stars. But this album blew me away, song number 12 is the best song i have heard all year. this cd is the greatest thing to hit the scene for a long ass time. remove any preconceptions of this band you may have and buy this album. it kinda reminds me of some fat stuff circa mid 90's, and some 80's guitars, and some really really powerful screaming. This album is way better than that piece of shit thrice record I bought. don't miss out on this, they no longer sound like a crappy generic emo band, the single is the worst song on the cd.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

Welcome to the suck...............

and by suck I mean Story of the Year.

What's Jarhead?

sickboi (October 28, 2005)

Is Jarhead the movie good?

I totally dig war movies (my fav's are Full Metal Jacket, Platoon, Hamburger Hill, 3 Kings, etc) that give the perspective of just how fucked up war is.

etwiels88 (October 28, 2005)

Score is for Jarhead the movie

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

I thought this album was pretty good. "Stereo", "Pay Your Enemy", and "Jarhead" are all really good songs.

sickboi (October 28, 2005)

"This is so completely foreign to me. The idea of even being able to open a CD case labeled "Story of the Year" takes so much sociological imagination... I wonder what I would be like if I grew up listening to utter crap.

-Will"

Perhaps not so jaded?
I mean, I don't dig this shit, but come on, get off your pretentious high horse.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

1. What the fuck. This album isn't even catchy.

2. Nice album art, who do they want to be, pre-keeping silent Coheed and Cambria or more like... Poison the Well?

3. Niggaz got godSMACKED IN THE FACE.

4. THESE GUYS WERE NEVER NOT ON A MAJOR LABEL? WHERES YOUR DRIVE THRU CRED?

ClicheMyHeart (October 28, 2005)

YEAH! This is heavy FUCKING metal!

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

This is so completely foreign to me. The idea of even being able to open a CD case labeled "Story of the Year" takes so much sociological imagination... I wonder what I would be like if I grew up listening to utter crap.

-Will

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

yeah, this album is weak. their sound is all over the place, and none of it sounds especially good.

i wouldn't go as far as to say i liked their last album, but i suppose it had its moments. ...especially in comparison to this.

score is for scott's comment.

lou

poopypants (October 28, 2005)

"This is a pretty off vase review"

yes quite, but its not really off flower pot though

paul

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

i will hate this band untill the day i dieeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

or whatever the fuck it is

DFelon204409 (October 28, 2005)

This is a pretty off vase review. First off, they were never screamo or modern screamo or an iteration of emo. They were pop punk with the occasoinal contrived scream. On this album all they do is take the riffs from "Paper Tigers" by Thrice and some God awful From Autumn to Ashes song and thrown it into their general formula, excepting a slightly varied song structure. It's the same old crap that's standing on the shoulders on firmer, time-hardened crap.

NoUse4aScnName00 (October 28, 2005)

this is a surprisingly good album. these cool cats have gotten a lot harder.

blade-runner (October 28, 2005)

ok. i just heard how they sound in the studio..

very bad.

blade-runner (October 28, 2005)

I just saw these guys a few hours ago at the Australian leg of The Taste Of Chaos (which i do NOT reccomend to anyone). They opened to the theme of Star Wars which i thought was kinda cool, albeit in a lame way.

They're set was okay: some of the stage antics were a lot of fun, however the music was often times boring. Still, a lot better than the band everyone was looking forward to, bar me: The Used: who i might add put on the worst performance i have ever seen. "Close your eyes real tight, You're gonna remember this night your whole life", proclaimed Bert.

Whether or not this cd is any good, i do not know. I was interested in how the band sounds in the studio, and probably would've bought it at the event, had they not've been charging AU $30.00!!

inagreendase (October 28, 2005)

This review looks familar....hmm......

Funny, so does the reviewer's username...hmm......

poopypants (October 28, 2005)

oh and yes, the new Mest album is quite possibly the worst thing I've heard all year. and to think I consider 'wasting time' one of the 10 best pop punk albums of the modern era (97-present)

paul

poopypants (October 28, 2005)

page avenue was pretty derivative and symbolic of the whole 'mallcore' movement and i feel bad for these guys cuz of that. they seem to be genuine guys that really do want to 'matter' to more than just numetal radio fans who like the Used.

I gained a lot of respect for them when they dumped feldman but I still feel this album was a bit overproduced too. not as bad as page avenue but for the sound they're going for I think its still too glossy.

the musicianship is much better on this album, and their singer is also stepping out of the 'bert from the used' box.

its a pretty solid album, but those who dont like what they do, still wont . its not THAT different, but it is better and I respect them.

paul

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

amazing cd! what a fucking great progression considering that last cd only had like 4 good songs on it and shitty ass jon feldmen productions. on a side not, the new mest cd fucking sucks. why try to sound like 80's?

Sirens (October 28, 2005)

assclowns... heh

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

This review looks familar....hmm......

swingline (October 28, 2005)

this gets 5 gays in the butt.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

I had never heard them before, but these guys were terrible at the warped tour. Complete and utter cookie cutter crap.

...evildeadalive

Allular (October 28, 2005)

I think what 80's hair band everyone's thinking of when it comes to the cover of the album is freakin' POISON.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

Why would I read this review, let alone listen to this album?

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

So... you assclowns post this review and don't post my roommates Hilary Duff review?

You guys are about as lame as Willem Dafoe is creepy.

Up the punx. Eat a bag of dicks.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

sheet sandwedge

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

PARTY BUS OF THE YEAR

how did this recieve a higher rating than Rahim?

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

these guys used to be a nu metal bands. totally changed how the looked and dont. i didn't ever care.

fritobandito (October 28, 2005)

I'm not gonna lie. I definitely enjoyed Page Avenue. it was the first album I popped in when I was in a catchy, hooky pop-core mood.

continuing with the "not gonna lie" idea...this album is fucking horrible.

colton (October 28, 2005)

Guys, Ray Capo and Toby Morris were on their last cd. They have some credibility.

Dante3000 (October 28, 2005)

Yeesh....I haven't heard this so I'll hold out on all my hate but...Yeesh...I just can't trust these guys. They seem way too manufactured.
-Dante

TheNightProwler (October 28, 2005)

Jordan, you've gone off the deep end. This album is like a blowjob from a buck-toothed chick -- you're so uncomfortable throughout it, it's completely unmemorable, and you pray that it will be over with each passing second, but you know you're in for a good 40 minutes or so of suffering.

haha man, you had me rolling on the ground laughing. i agree with the other person, comment of the day.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

The album cover reminds me of the first CD that I ever bought......Saigon Kick...."Love is on the waaaaaaaayah"

skanknsmile (October 28, 2005)

why is this above the briefs? anyone?

colin (October 28, 2005)

no

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

if you are considering buying this...save your money. it would be better spent sticking it straight up your ass. these guys are shit. i dont care how much energy you have...when playing as shitty a song as until the day i die nothing can help you. fuck these no-talent ass clowns.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

these guys fucking suck a dick! fo real!

Marlon (October 28, 2005)

"This album is like a blowjob from a buck-toothed chick -- you're so uncomfortable throughout it, it's completely unmemorable, and you pray that it will be over with each passing second, but you know you're in for a good 40 minutes or so of suffering."

Comment of the day.

maverick (October 28, 2005)

Jordan, you've gone off the deep end. This album is like a blowjob from a buck-toothed chick -- you're so uncomfortable throughout it, it's completely unmemorable, and you pray that it will be over with each passing second, but you know you're in for a good 40 minutes or so of suffering.

At least the last album had some sort of pop hooks to hum along to. I couldn't tell you how a single song on this record, outside of "We Don't Care Anymore," goes.

-Scott

p-fresh (October 28, 2005)

One of the best written reviews I've read in a while. Nice job.

Anonymous (October 28, 2005)

After your review I will check them out, never much of a fan but it seems they have improved if what you said is anything to go on.

Score is for your review

adam (October 28, 2005)

I don't know enough about this band to comment on them, but this cover art (the logo in particular) just looks so.... `80s... and in a really bad way.

-adam

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