By Cory Stark
Shakespeare is known for writing plays that fall into three distinct genres. Histories create drama from historical events and figures, comedies play on light-hearted themes of love, and tragedies tackle grief and death. It seems like most of the indie/punk rock albums I’ve reviewed this year qualify as comedies, but Sorority Noise’s You’re Not As ____ As You Think is undeniably a tragedy. Inspired by the deaths of multiple close friends of the band, the new album sees Sorority Noise digging deep to put out a great 30 minutes of music.
While their 2015 album Joy, Departed was clearly a step up from 2014’s Forgettable, You’re Not As ____ As You Think is Sorority Noise’s best record so far. It feels like the band has really found something to write about, and the album is a near-perfect balance of grief, reflection, and optimism. Tracks like “Disappeared” and “Where Are You?” provide a positive outlook on the subject matter of the record, while songs like “A Better Sun” and “Leave The Fan On” portray the darker side of dealing with loss. Overall, You’re Not As ____ As You Think is a half hour of reflection, and it prompts the listener to reflect as well. For me, this manifested itself as the contemplation of mortality on an hour-long van ride while nine other passengers debated the pros and cons of different types of liquor. Fun.
Sonically, I can’t say that the album is really a departure from Sorority Noise’s established sound, but that’s alright. The record has noticeable ups and downs, and I doubt anyone would accuse the band of making all their songs sound the same. Honestly, You’re Not As ____ As You Think sounds a lot like Joy, Departed, but with better lyricism and subject matter. Which isn’t bad at all, because Joy, Departed is a pretty good album.
Sorority Noise has definitely made a special record, and I hope they’re proud of it. I really enjoyed it, and I like to imagine that Shakespeare would have too.
Related if you like: Modern Baseball, The Hotelier
Favorite Tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7