Story Of The Year - Page Avenue: 10 Years and Counting (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Story Of The Year

Page Avenue: 10 Years and Counting (2013)


Page Avenue was the record that put Story Of The Year into the mainstream light. There's no doubting that. But the heat it drew from loyalists saw fans calling it a 'sellout' record and one which robbed the band of their old essence. To me, it never fell that far, and it's one of those melodic-emo records that lapped around punk, indie-alternative and so other many genres, in a more light-hearted manner. Page Avenue deserved more credit than most gave it. Ten Years and Counting celebrates a decade of the record and it takes a nice spin on things, while straying from the many acoustic versions they put out before, of quite a few of the tracks. This acoustic album doesn't measure up as much as their earlier acoustic renditions but it still adds a factor of nostalgia that plays off well.

Tracks like "Anthem Of Our Dying Day" and "Sidewalks" are what you would expect. They're built on Dan Marasala's clean-cut vocals as he narrates St. Louis life and growing up. A record of maturing is most likely what they aimed for and sure there were hits and misses but these songs were the stronger ones on the parent album. Once more, Marsala's on point with his delivery and building the canvas of these acoustics on pianos differentiate them so much from their earlier acoustic iterations. The older acoustics stand out more but the execution's still spot on here.

"Until The Day I Die" here, just like ten years ago, is smooth, elegant and fashioned in melodic simplicity. It'll have you thinking, 'Fuck, I'm really old' but with neat little solos and a few curveball hooks tossed in here and there, you can see that Story Of The Year didn't want to regurgitate what they put out before. It was a challenge to make this acoustic record outlast what they did already in years gone by but the gang took it on well. When you ingest the opening "And The Hero Will Drown" and the closer "Razorblades", you'll realize how well they did in jamming so many acoustics out, without sounding mundane or repetitive, or more importantly, a carbon copy of acoustics gone by.

If you want to roll back the years, take a dive in. Page Avenue fans would no doubt be pleased by this but if you arbitrarily look for an album to cool down to, this is it. Nostalgic is an understatement. Thanks guys for making me feel old as fuck again. At least, I got a good record out of this throwback. A bit polished and not as good as their raw, earlier acoustics but it isn't bad at all.