Story of the Year - The Constant (Cover Artwork)

Story of the Year

Story of the Year: The ConstantThe Constant (2010)
Epitaph Records

Reviewer Rating: 2
User Rating:

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

I've heard it said that there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. I'd cautiously like to add a third item to that equation, and that is if there is children singing on a record, it is likely going to suck. Okay, it might not be that certain (see the Jackson 5, for example), but more o.
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I've heard it said that there are only two sure things in life: death and taxes. I'd cautiously like to add a third item to that equation, and that is if there is children singing on a record, it is likely going to suck. Okay, it might not be that certain (see the Jackson 5, for example), but more often than not the minute a prepubescent voice is heard coming from someone's speakers, it ends up being a horrid excuse for music. The opener on Story of The Year's fourth full-length, The Constant, is entitled "The Children Sing." I find it curious that children's voices usher in what might be the worst album by this constantly frustrating band.

After the abysmal start, the band really needs something to bring the audience back from the brink; instead, the band treads water in "The Ghost of You and I," which is a painfully standard SOTY song, ready for the radio in composition but not nearly catchy enough to make a lasting impression. Songs like "I'm Alive" and "Time Goes On" succeed, however, because they are indeed catchy and the guitar tone SOTY utilizes matches the moody atmosphere of the album perfectly. In terms of experimentation, the band tends to lean on effects and that is exactly what brings down "To the Burial" as it tries to be a strutting cock rock song but but the opening gang vocals just end up coming off half-hearted and ham-fisted.

When the band flexes its punk muscle with some shredding riffage on "Eye for an Eye," you sort of wish the band would abandon its poppier moments which just don't seem to be working for them anymore and instead try going for a more mainstream punk sound of a band like Rise Against. "Remember a Time" has intro that sounds like vintage Weezer but they ruin it with can be described as a "trippy" guitar tone for the verses that takes the steam right out of the song before the chorus hits. The chorus should be the focal point of the pop song, but instead it is the intro; something is wrong here.

Whatever Story of a Year are doing right now, they are doing it wrong because, as moments here show, the band has a heap of talent. It feels like they are a band that is lacking the right producer that can help them realize their talents and edit out the excess and overwrought moments that creep into The Constant. At four full-lengths, it seems like the band might never hit their stride. Better luck next time, I suppose.


People who liked this also liked:
Bad Religion - True NorthRancid - Let the Dominoes FallNOFX - CoasterUseless ID - The Lost Broken BonesNo Fun at All - Low RiderRise Against - Appeal to ReasonBad Religion - New Maps of Hell [Deluxe Edition] [CD/DVD]The Slackers - Self MedicationPennywise - Reason to BelieveStreetlight Manifesto - Somewhere in the Between

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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.
rhynomcgrath (March 9, 2010)

not that we haven't beaten this dead horse but dillinger four's midwestern songs had kids on it, and we all know how good that record is.

p.s. isn't there something better you can be doing than reviewing this cd? not that it wasn't well written, just seems like a waste of time. i could have put 2 stars up there without even hearing it. it's like hearing mathew mcconaughey is making a new movie, do we really need a review or can we just assume it's going to be bad?

bytheslice (March 9, 2010)

I never got into this band. They just seemed like blah-alterna rock.

P.S. Lagwagon had kids doing gang vocals on "Trashed". And that album flippin' ruled.
P.P.S. Piebald also rules. Big ups to the person who mentioned them.

paulrulzdood (March 8, 2010)

i wouldn't go so far to say 80% of Sandinista sucks. Maybe 50%.

Story of the Year suffer from "pennywise syndrome". they found a sound & formula that they refuse to waver from even slightly. Rise Against suffer from it as well. For hardcore fans of these bands, they love it, because the quality and expectations and result are always...ahem...constant. on the other hand, it lacks for any innovation or evolution of your sound and you become stagnant creatively, just churning out the same album every 2 years with different lyrics and riffs to keep the fans interested, but basically recycling your last album instead of trying something new.

i'm not saying bands should do a 180 after every album like Brand New, but I like at least some innovation and experimentation with your sound if you're going to keep me interested for more than a few years and albums.

I hear nothing differentiating this new SOTY album from their past couple. it's solid but nothng great. filler mostly. "black swan" was probably better. but for their hardcore fans that don't want them to change, this will be right up their alley. if you didn't like them before, this album will not change your mind.

hamonrye (March 8, 2010)

well, doesn't everyone agree that the clash's kiddie version of career opportunities sucked, as well as 80% of sadinista?

aintyourbusiness (March 7, 2010)

generic crap

hobbzoid (March 6, 2010)


ffwoodycooks (March 6, 2010)

no need to call me a Columbo, im more of a Baretta

and that just happened to be the song i was listening to at the time, so i posted it.

SloaneDaley (March 6, 2010)

I admit there are exceptions in the same paragraph, no need to dig up evidence to refute me, I admit it isn't a stone cold fact my Columbos.

Also Greg I wasn't speaking to the children's ability to sing, I was speaking to the creepy atmosphere and/or overwrought sentiment they can convey on occasion that ruins things.

ffwoodycooks (March 6, 2010)

just gonna refute the first paragraph (like everyone else)


crackpotdemagogue (March 6, 2010)

if there is children singing on a record, it is likely going to suck

total bloody nonsense.

Stenny (March 6, 2010)

Aeroplane bitches!

Michael_Berryman (March 6, 2010)

The Kids of Widney High destroy your whole opening statement.

hamonrye (March 6, 2010)

The Clash recording another version of "career opportunities" with kids singing sucked too. Sadinista had a single LPs worth of good material.

Deadpan (March 6, 2010)

The Rolling Stones would also like to refute your claims of singing kids = suck. Case in point: You Can't Always Get What You Want.

greg0rb (March 6, 2010)

Sloane, were you 18 when you were born? Huh?! I listen to kids sing for a living and I've got some pretty awesome (and pretty adorable) ones among them. We all gotta start somewhere, yo.

Second the Piebald, would like to add Decemberists Hazards of Love. Just like in so many horror movies, kids voices can mean 'cute' or 'haunting' depending on the situation.

accidentprone88 (March 6, 2010)

I think Passion Pit used children singing at least somewhat somewhat effectively.

accidentprone88 (March 6, 2010)

I think Passion Pit used used children singing at least somewhat somewhat effectively.

scruffy (March 6, 2010)

if there is children singing on a record, it is likely going to suck.

Ahem. Piebald. We Are The Only Friends We Have.

eatdogs (March 6, 2010)

i have their first album and that's it. it was obvious that this band wasn't that good and they were riding the screamo/emo trend during the early 2000's, but that didn't stop me from liking them back then. as time has told, they haven't aged well and most of their fans have (hopefully) grown up past them. i will say this, i like this album cover, except for the dumb black and white circles on it. whoever said that was a good idea needs to be kicked in the eye...

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