The most recent success story to come out of Connecticut is Sorority Noise. The New England state has been on something of a hot streak lately with Alternative music. Acts including Hostage Calm, (RIP) The World Is…, and Great Caesar, in addition to some great CT based labels such as Broken World Media and Seagreen Records, have been curating and building up a great music scene for a fair amount of time now. Sorority Noise, who released their debut LP Forgettable in 2014, is at the top of this list. Now, just over a year later, the band is gearing up for the release of their sophomore effort, title Joy, Departed.
If the title wasn’t already an indication, this record is full of heavy, introspective themes over some of the best instrumentals offered so far from the 90’s emo revival. Sorority Noise manages to translate their engaging live show on to record effortlessly, the result being a much better record than Forgettable which in spite of it’s handful of really strong songs, was just that.
Vocalist Cameron Boucher sounds better than ever on Joy, Departed. Without losing any of the signature power behind his voice, he manages to sound more refined and melodic. The double-tracked vocals, group vocals, and harmonies fit more tightly together and contribute in a large way to the more professional sound of the record.
The guitar and bass work is just as phenomenal. Joy, Departed features far tighter songwriting, with riffs locking right in with each other. Drummer Charlie Singer lays down beats with precision and provides order for the more chaotic parts of the record.
Standouts from the record include “Art School Wannabe,” an ode to growing up and realizing that self-depreciation isn’t always the best tool to get through life, as well as “Using” a song about relapsing in more ways than you’d think. The soft/loud dynamics of this song create a beautifully epic chorus, and the guitar solos only enforce “Using” as one of the best songs of 2015.
“When I See You (Timberwolf)” closes the album with a waltz beat and touch of strings, and builds up to a false ending, that collapses back in with drawn out chords, a chorus of “Ahhh”s and some ridiculous Post-Rock guitar picking.
Joy, Departed shows Sorority Noise at their best, lyrically and sonically. Their previous songs translated well live, but not as well on record, and by striking a balance between the two, they’ve ensured that there’s really nowhere else to go but up.