Emo-punk outfit The Story Changes has a new live date coming up. The band recently announced it will perform live Sept. 6 in Cincinnati, OH alongside Spectrums, Current Events and The Virtue Signals. The Story Changes’ performance is in support of its new album To Hell With This Delicate Equation. Released April 26 through Magnaphone Records, the 12-song, 38-minute record – the band’s fourth album — is a solid collection of emo/pop punk songs that holds its own against the records released so far this year by the band’s mainstream counterparts. That is thanks to the album’s musical content and its lyrical content. That is evidenced right from the album’s outset in ‘Crying Wolf,’ which will be discussed shortly. ‘Justice’ is another of the songs featured in the record that serves to show the album’s strength. It will be addressed a little later. ‘First Cut,’ which comes near the end of the album’s nearly 40-minute run, is yet another example of what makes The Story Changes’ new album so strong. When it is considered alongside the other noted songs and the rest of the album’s entries, the end result is a record that will leave listeners saying anything but ‘to hell with it.’
The Story Changes’ new album To Hell With This Delicate Equation is a work that is certain to appeal to the band’s core audience. That is proven collectively through the album’s musical and lyrical content. The album’s opener ‘Crying Wolf’ is just one of the album’s entries that serves to support that statement. That is proven in part through the song’s musical arrangement, which wastes no time grabbing listeners’ attention with its driving, guitar-centered composition. The arrangement’s energy remains stable from start to end of its two-and-a-half-minute run time, ensuring in its own way, listeners’ engagement. That is important to note because while the song doesn’t break the three-minute mark, the arrangement and its energy makes the song feel so complete. Listeners are left completely fulfilled by that energy and overall composition.
The whole of the arrangement forms a strong foundation for the song. Of course that arrangement is just one part of what makes the song such a strong start for the album and example of what makes the song stand out. Its lyrical content compliments its musical side quite well. Front man Mark McMillon (who also is a member of Hawthorne Heights) sings in the song’s lead verse, “You speak in tongues/You wreak of lies/They’ve never felt so alone, so alive/Slow down, slow down/You’re too far down/You’re too far out/The fear was all inside your head/They keep you numb, but make you think you’re happy ever after/Just don’t forget they’re not your knights in f***** shining armor/Don’t be afraid/Think for yourself/Digest this information/Let them keep crying wolf out loud.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “There’s no regrets/There’s only time/You’re trying to tear it apart/We’re trying to keep it alive.” The message here seems to hint at a message of self-improvement so to speak. This is inferred as McMillon sings in that first verse, of how bad a person is, but that state being the result of someone else making one believe one is a certain way. It is as if he is saying to the listeners to not let other forces and people dictate how one lives one’s life. That is inferred just as much in the song’s second verse as in the lead verse, considering the note of “You’re trying to tear it apart/We’re trying to keep it alive.” McMillon comes across as warning listeners about the fake people who are in our lives, reminding listeners not to let them drag them down. This is all this critic’s own interpretation, so should not be taken as the only interpretation. Hopefully it is somewhere near being correct. That aside, what McMillon and company have done here in terms of the song’s musical and lyrical content is crafted a song that is a positive start to the band’s new album as well as just one example of what makes the album a positive new effort from the band. It is just one of the songs featured in this record that makes the album an appealing new offering from The Story Changes. ‘Justice’ is another of the songs featured in the record that serves to show the album’s strength.
‘Justice’ stands out in part because of its arrangement. The song’s arrangement is another up-tempo piece that will get listeners’ adrenaline flowing. That is thanks to the guitar work and time keeping at the heart of the arrangement. The pairing of the elements forms the arrangement’s base and ensures in itself, listeners’ engagement and entertainment. The arrangement does a lot to make ‘Justice’ another key addition to TSC’s new album. It is only one part of what makes the song notable. Its lyrical content adds its own share of interest to its whole.
The song’s lyrical content is certain to generate its own share of interest and discussion among listeners with its metaphorical language. McMillon sings in the song’s lead verse, “Feel it in the air again/I can smell the rain about to start/It’s time to get your feet wet/It’s starting up again/Over and over you pulse/Anchored by the beat of your own heart/It’s so demanding/One last time.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Watch it through the window/Stumble on a world you used to know/Miscommunication, there is no easy way out/Over and over you pace/Try to catch a glimpse of your old life/No more desire/It’s on the shelf.” The song’s chorus, which finds McMillon singing, “Justice will be served/Your sweet revenge/My sweetest friend/Time will take its toll/You taste like fire under your breath” adds even more intrigue to the song’s lyrical content. Even this critic is left wondering about the message in this case because of the nature of the content’s wording. On one hand, one could argue that maybe the song’s subject is addressing perhaps dealing with an issue from the past, trying to escape whatever that situation might be. On another hand, it could possibly be something completely other than that, considering McMillon’s note in the chorus of “You taste like fire under your breath.” That seems to have quite the negative connotation. Again, this is all this critic’s own interpretation of the song’s lyrical content. Regardless of what is actually being said here, the fact that it can generate so much contemplation and discussion makes it that much more important to the whole of THWTDE. That is especially the case when this deeply engaging lyrical content is coupled with the song’s musical content. The combination of the two elements is certain to make this song a fan favorite just as much as the album’s opener. It is just one more of the songs included in the album that serves to show so well what makes the record a strong offering for the band’s key audience. ‘First Cut,’ the album’s penultimate song, is one more of the album’s most notable entries.
Where the first two songs noted here feature full-on, adrenaline-fueled arrangements, the arrangement at the heart of ‘First Cut’ is slightly more reserved. It is more akin to works from the likes of Jimmy Eat World and other emo-type bands than the harder-edged punk/emo bands out there. That is not necessarily a bad thing, either. The pulsing drums and the catchy hooks and guitar riffs make the arrangement another work that at least musically, will make the song another fan favorite. The appeal in the song’s musical arrangement is only part of the song’s overall appeal. Its lyrical content presents its own interest among listeners. The song’s lead verse reads, “The first cut is the deepest and these scars are permanent/These long nights are my weakness as my mind just races on/I remember a different kind of world/Never scared and not so obvious/Underneath the moonlight as we chase these childish dreams.” The song continues in its second and third verses, “I remember waking up to an empty room and a heavy heart/I remember most nights without a dollar to my name/Pick me up/Lift me out away from this/Watch it all fall between your fingertips/Are we chasing shadows/are we playing foolish games/We were scraping by/We were day to day/A lack of inspiration/We were all alone/We were of the same/This is going to break my heart in the morning/My heart/A lack of inspiration.” On the surface, this sounds like someone who is dealing with some very heavy thoughts and emotions, which is commonplace for the emo realm. On another level, the song’s chorus, which reads, “Take my hand/Come back home/Hide your doubts/Let me in/I’m fading fast/Save yourself/Don’t fade away,” changes things. It’s as if the song’s subject is saying here, that despite his/her situation, he/she doesn’t want the same fate for someone else. Once more, this is solely this critic’s interpretation, meaning it is just one interpretation. It could very well be wrong. Either way, the lyrics evoke some very strong emotions. That in itself is something that the band’s key listeners will appreciate. When those lyrics are coupled with the song’s equally heartfelt musical arrangement, the whole of the song becomes that much stronger of a presentation. When the song is considered alongside the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s songs, the whole of the album proves to be a presentation that will appeal to a wide array of emo and punk fans.
The Story Changes’ fourth full-length studio recording To Hell With This Delicate Equation is a solid work that will appeal to plenty of emo and punk fans. That is due to the record’s musical arrangements and its thoughtful lyrical content. All three of the songs discussed here serve to show why those noted audiences will appreciate the album. When they are considered along with the rest of the record’s entries, the whole of the album proves to be a work that will leave its key audiences saying anything but ‘to hell with it.’ More information on To Hell With This Delicate Equation is available online now along with all of The Story Changes’ news at:
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