Story of The Year's 'The Black Swan' CD

April 18, 2008 11:47:50 AM PDT
The biggest problem with the screamo scene is how similar everyone sounds. Story of the Year set themselves apart from the pack with only moderate success on their third full-length, "The Black Swan."

SOTY hovers somewhere between emotive radio rock and muscular metal - and one wishes they would stick with their heavier inclinations because that's where they sound best.

Disc opener "Choose Your Fate," "Tell Me (P.A.C.)" and "Welcome to Our New War" kick hard enough to grab your attention with driving riffs, and catchy lead single "Wake Up" will probably be a hit with the MTV crowd. But most of the other tracks sink under the weight of bland repetition.

For all the well-intentioned anti-war and let-love-rule sentiment in the lyrics, there's just no getting around the recycled riffs and bland radio choruses that give most of the disc a redundant feel - nothing truly stands out.

While this is a well-produced and listenable record from a tight band, if someone tells you it's another group - let's just say Hoobastank for argument's sake - you might not know the difference.