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The Story So Far makes long-awaited return with their latest album, Proper Dose

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After taking a three-year hiatus following their self-titled album, The Story So Far has finally made their long-awaited return with their fourth studio album, Proper Dose. Fans have been constantly bombarding the band on social media asking when this album was going to be released when they teased their single “Out of It” last fall. Their dedicated followers have been anxiously awaiting this record release ever since. The album officially dropped on September 21st and you could say it is already a contender for album of the year.
This record comes as a bit of a change of pace for the Walnut Creek, CA natives. TSSF is well known in the alternative community for being “pop-punk” since their debut onto the scene. With “Proper Dose” though, they still have stayed true to their own sound, but have thrown some more variety into the mix with songs like “Take Me as You Please” and “Upside Down”. The album as a whole is all about the inner battles that come with having an opiate addiction, which is not all that uncommon since according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, more than 115 Americans are dying of opioid overdose every day.
This album is nothing short of powerful and moving as many of the songs have a heavy meaning behind them. The album begins with its self-titled track “Proper Dose” the opening guitar riff and drums have a forward, driving motion to them and the song sounds very upbeat if it weren’t for the more revealing lyrics that Cannon uses. On this track, he sings, “Am I just going through the motions / Or is this how I’ll be? / Barely focused anymore / The haze is all that / I can see / Red bottle, white cap” the music on this song reflects Cannons regret and anger with his past self. The sound is very reminiscent of some of their older music, like their album Under Soil and Dirt, and gives off that overt emotion of frustration and wanting to let out the rage.
While the guys stay true to their previous style of songwriting, there are some exceptions to this like their song, “Take Me As You Please” that mainly features an acoustic guitar and a shaker. The song’s intro begins with the faint sound of a synth as the strumming of the guitar comes in. Cannon really showcases his vocal abilities on this song as it is more of a ballad and his voice isn’t competing with the harsh sounds of all the other electric instruments that are normally used in TSSF’s setlist.
Another track that is different from the band’s usual style is “Upside Down”, the song has a very casual, easy feeling to it. The guitar riff has a calm strumming pattern, with the steady backing of drums, chordal synth, and harmonies. Cannon finds closure with his past as he sings on the chorus, “it’s all love now, upside down”.
Finally, the 11-track record closes out with the song “Light Year”, which begins with a rocking guitar riff, and intricate drum pattern. This is Parker Cannon’s last chance to make a statement on the album and on this song he has finally put an end to his battle with addiction and it seems he is ready to turn a new leaf. He says, I’m stepping outside now / I’ll leave you behind now / I finally came down / I’m ready to let it all out” the “you” that he is leaving behind is the opiates as he has finally come down from the high that he felt. He is finally ready to open up about his battle and he did so effortlessly on this masterpiece of an album.

The band just finished up their European leg of the tour and will be heading out for the US tour on Nov 2nd in Portland, OR. They will be in Philly on Saturday, November 17th, at North Seventh, (Previously the Electric Factory) with other bands Movements, Citizen and Turnover. You can stream Proper Dose on Spotify, and Apple Music, and can buy tickets to their tour on their website.