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Killer Klassix: The Story So Far: “Five Songs” EP

The band not only capitalizes on progress, but ropes listeners into a philosophy that proves fruitful not just in their art, but as a means to ignite a fire of hope in themselves to do the same.

It may not get you too far, but if you’re committed, confidence could be what gets you to where you need to go. Whether you are looking to get the gig, ace your latest exam, get a better position or talk to someone you really like, a mix of confidence and the right amount of ability in what you do is the difference between faceplanting or getting what you really want. Named after their favorite song by modern pop punk band New Found Glory, The Story So Far sought to establish themselves in their debut effort, properly titled the “Five Songs” EP. While titled quite simply, The Story So Far’s effort was bold and confident enough in their musical ability to let the EP explain who the band was and what they stood for. 

“Five Songs” EP is the debut release from the modern pop punk quartet, The Story So Far. The album was released independently on Dec. 22, 2007 on Bandcamp. Exuding confidence on every track, The Story So Far makes the effort not just to distinguish themselves, but to give pop punk a relative and positive reinforcement. Both lyrics and music are well melded, complimenting each other and an exhibition of confidence and a dedicated effort to highlight what the band is capable of with what the title references.

“Intro” does just exactly that so well, beginning with the quintessential slow chugging guitar, building a wonderful crescendo of momentum. The main lyricist, vocalist and frontman for the band, Parker Cannon’s youthful vocal performance is determined. Lyrically, the song is about pushing yourself when things seem bleak. 

Sometimes things get hard when you are working to get somewhere and when morale is low, confidence is needed to believe that all the lows we experience are worth it in the end. Cannon sings, “There’s a time to live and a time to die/But right now its time you try/Keep your head up/I’m not gonna lie/You’re stronger now than you were before/Keep your foot placed in the door/Take two steps and you’ll be wanting more.” While initially a bit bleak, the song’s relatable notion of hope and belief in self is perfect for anyone feeling down.

“Jud Jud” is then seamlessly transitioned into and takes the mischievous ferocity of negative self-talk and pushes back with just as much aggression. The guitar riff is heavy and relentless and ushers the listener into a track all about confidence and belief in one’s self. Nothing stops lead guitarist Kevin Geyer from propelling the melodic trap into a mischievously fun chord structure, and the listener is able to make out every note played. Lyrically, Cannon looks to inspire through his own journey. The overall lyrical notion exhibits Cannon’s dedication to his craft and unshaken belief in himself that carries him through difficult situation. This idea impacts the music wonderfully with the chorus well carried, “I know that things fell short of what you wanted and more/So take the last bus home and keep the change, we’re set in stone/So take the last bus home and keep the change, we’re set in stone.”

“Stand Taller” is a determined track, really leaning heavily into influences and pushing forward as the track on the EP exhibitive of everything that makes the band great. Thematically, the track is an enjoyable, incendiary track about confidence and self-belief. 

The music and lyrical material hone in on a synergy with Ryan Torf’s aggressive approach to rhythm and tight, sharp timing that enables the listener to really interact with the message. Both the chorus and verse are tied well together and facilitate Cannon’s iteration of the hook, “Can you hear my words?/Break down the walls that bury yours/Can you hear my words?/They were the last you should have heard.” The song’s influential notion may seem a bit repetitive, but it transfers the ideology of having confidence in yourself in true punk spirit.

“It’s 20 More Feet And I Can’t Walk It Alone” appears to be both a carbon copy and an extension of “Standing Taller.” The song’s only distinction from the previous track is the introduction and the bridge towards the end. While the lyrical material may be just as excitedly ambitious as the rest of the EP, the background music seriously lacked and weighed the EP down.

“Don’t Get Me Wrong” is an ending well preserved in the illusion of a continuation. The track begins with a chaotic guitar micro-melody anticipatory of Cannon’s entrance to the track. However, as the track builds to its first climax, Cannon surprises the listener with a mischievous laugh, symbolizing a genuine attempt to exhibit the intentions of the track.

 Lyrically, Cannon denotes the sacrifices necessary to not just be an artist, but the necessity to preserve a part of yourself in order to make things happen in your life. Truly highlighting the potential of the band not just denoting the verities of their experiences as a band just starting out, but the EP as a whole, is an homage to the experience of the human experience. 

While dying off a bit by trying to repackage a track as an extension of the third song on the EP, the debut effort still stands the test of time 16 years later. Using the human condition is the precipice of relatability, and using that to fuel the art, makes “The Story So Far” a genuine treat to listeners. The band not only looks to capitalize on progress, but rope listeners into a philosophy that proves fruitful not just in their art, but as a means to ignite a fire of hope in themselves to do the same.


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Antonio Llanos, Staff Writer

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