For Fans Of
Right between Modern Baseball and Citizen in the emo hall of fame is a cosy little spot reserved for Sorority Noise. Latest release, ‘Joy, Departed’, ticks all the requisite boxes to get them there. Emotional? Check. Cathartic? Check. Brutally honest, unreserved and tear-jerking? Triple check.
This LP is such an outpouring it could have been written in Confession. It opens softly and timidly on ‘Blissth’ in a wanting song that drops lines like bombs in an existential crisis zone: ‘I wasn’t built to exist’. Throughout the album, personal struggles are documented. ‘Corrigan’ grapples with relationship breakdowns and sonically teases at a nervous one and ‘Mononokay’ grounds itself in mental illness references. Most impacting is the louder ‘Using’, an oddly triumphant firecracker that begins with an intriguing splice of truth and tragedy: ‘I started using again’.
The overt soul-baring on ‘Joy, Departed’ isn’t the only thing that makes it good. The record has been crafted to propel each song’s meaning, capturing it by complementing it, be it through instrumentals reflecting sadness or otherwise. For the most part, a deft softness underlies the majority of songs. ‘Fuschsia’ is grounded in steady acoustic guitars, but even introduces strings to convey its emotion. Perhaps the only upbeat-sounding song on the album, ‘Art School Wannabe’ is a joyful twanger, while ‘When I See You (Timberwolf)’, though personal and frowning, does make you tap your foot to lines that sound like a patronising relative: ‘If God is real then I hope he has a plan for you’.
As is par for the course, the vocals on the album mirror its introspective nature, being poignant and reflective but also dynamic and apt. If you listen closely, you’ll even hear both singers of Modern Baseball swing by. The casual but truthful delivery means that empathy isn’t tough to summon, because who can’t relate to lyrics like, ‘I’m not sure of anything in this world except I’m always wearing black and sleeping in’?
Some of these tracks recall Modern Baseball and Bayside, but none of them sound exactly like any other band. Sorority Noise are carving their own path in this alternative scene of ours, doing so by releasing unto the world an album that doesn’t sound like it’s holding back anything, except, at some points, tears.
3. Fluorescent Black
5. Your Soft Blood
6. Art School Wannabe
10. When I See You (Timberwolf)