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Story of the Year – Tear Me To Pieces

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Mar 16, 2023.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Nostalgia can have a funny way of bringing back a flood of memories, whether they be for good or bad. Story of the Year do a great job of honing in on the positive memories of their platinum-certified debut LP, Page Avenue, into a re-imagined version of this sound found on their sixth studio album called Tear Me To Pieces. From the similar cover art, to the references of a familiar time on the song “2005,” Story of the Year embrace their past while still looking towards the future. Tear Me To Pieces features a more polished version of themselves that they hinted at on Wolves, and probably wish they had the poise to create back in 2003. This album is a solid collection of songs that hit hard from front to back, and still leave the door wide open to where they could take their sound next. With themes ranging from self-doubt, anxiety, and meaningful relationships, Story of the Year’s return to the music scene couldn’t have come at a better time.

    The record opens cautiously with an acoustic guitar as vocalist Dan Marsala sings the title track’s chorus before the electric guitars kick in to get more into the comfort zone of the band. Marsala explains his mental state on the first verse of, “Flying through the static / Like a bat out of the hell in me / 30 seconds longer till this / Medication dies on me / I can’t see the end / These voices don’t make sense / I can’t fall asleep please help me.” His vulnerability makes him relatable, and the band’s powerful backing sound makes this a great introductory song to launch into. “Real Life” was the first single to be released from the set, and it builds to a great, anthemic chorus. I found the second verse of, “You said, “this hurts too much, I don’t wanna stay” / Find a nice rich man / Give you everything / But nobody else / Makes you feel this way / Like a drug, like a drug / That you love to take,” to be particularly powerful in explaining the way fractured relationships can make it feel like we’re being ripped ti shreds.

    ”Afterglow” follows with some more incredible guitar work from Ryan Phillips, who’s presence is felt far and wide on this record. The chorus of, “I can barely feel the pain / When I’m staring at you / Every time my life explodes / You’re the perfect afterglow / I can barely feel the pain / When I’m staring at you / Every time my life explodes / You’re the perfect afterglow,” before cutting away the last note to remind the listener that almost nothing can be perfect. “Dead and Gone” is a frenetic punk rock song that is layered with great drumming from Josh Wills to make each Marsala vocal punch in with authority. The bridge of, “Why does it feel so good to let you go? / This is the death of something beautiful,” features a refrain of a backing chorus to leave the lyrics as a haunting warning of what can happen when our relationships take a turn for the worst.

    ”War” highlights some cool guitar riffing by Phillips paired with a pulsating bass line from Adam Russell to keep things interesting. While “Can’t Save You” rips the door wide open with its heavier-toned guitar riffs and near-shouted vocals remind the audience of the hard-nosed material Story of the Year are plenty capable of crafting. “2005” reminisces over the vocal croon of Marsala about the peak of the emo/punk genre, as well as the origins of the band into a cleverly constructed track.

    ”Sorry About Me” finds Marsala doubting himself and his mental well-being on the second verse as he ponders, “I think I need help / Cause lately I’m so unwell / From diamonds to dust that could be us / If I could just change myself / In a city broken like me / Every nightmare started out a good dream / I just need to tell you before I go.” There are always key moments in any relationship where we begin to doubt our self-worth and make sure we’re putting our best forward more often than not, and the band recognizes this dynamic gracefully.

    Other key standouts like “Take the Ride” find Story of the Year at their most catchy, with a brilliant blast of pop-punk spirit as they sing along, “Let go of the wheel and I shut my eyes / I wanna feel something before I die / Fuck all the red flags / I don’t know where I’m going.” Sometimes the scariest thing in the world is realizing we’re not in control of our own destiny and life, and the lyrics bring up this exact situation. The closing duo of the aggressive-sounding “Knives Out” contrasted with the vulnerable ballad of “Use Me” define an incredible chapter in this band’s sound and career, and will likely make longtime fans of Story of the Year hope that they don’t have to wait another six years for more music from this talented band. By remaining a relatable beacon of light through their meaningful lyrics, this artist makes Tear Me To Pieces a memorable section of their own story.


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  2. Steeeve Perry


    One of my absolute favourite bands from that "peak scene" period. Outstanding live. Black Swan is one of the last great records from that whole wave, and I think it could have been really big for them if it arrived a little sooner when that style still found the mainstream. A perfect blend of Page Avenue's polished pop rock and In The Wake's aggression.

    Glad to see them soldiering on and cranking out more solid tunes.
  3. pbueddi

    Trusted Supporter

    This band really seems to be in a good place right now and it's nice to see. I hope this album does well for them (by whatever metric they might use). Can't wait to see some of these new songs live as well.
    metallikunt, ScutFarkus and paythetab like this.
  4. parkerxcore

    Somebody's gonna miss us Supporter

    This album is fantastic highly recommend it.
    metallikunt and paythetab like this.
  5. manoverboard679

    If you have to ask, you can't afford it

    It's hilarious to me that the nostalgia song is 2005 when their album from that same year (ITWOD) had its own nostalgia song called Take Me Back. They really have encapsulated all stages of their fan's lives
    metallikunt and paythetab like this.
  6. pbueddi

    Trusted Supporter

    you cant be nostalgic at different points in life?
  7. metallikunt

    I'm in love with the ordinary

    I kinda fell off after the first 2 albums (which I loved) but came back for Wolves and thought that was fantastic ... but Tear Me to Pieces is even better. Pretty much been listening to it none stop since last week. It's a really fucking solid album!

    I'll have to go back and check out the 2 albums I missed in between.
  8. parkerxcore

    Somebody's gonna miss us Supporter

    That's exactly me too. Loving the new tunes.
    metallikunt and paythetab like this.
  9. WadeCastle


    i love this album, it was much anticipated and definitely delivered on all aspects!
    paythetab likes this.
  10. Steeeve Perry


    Black Swan is their opus in my view.

    The Constant I was lukewarm on but liked it better when revisiting without the expectations.
    paythetab likes this.
  11. rxbandit89

    probably over-caffeinated. Supporter

    I have been listening to this almost exclusively all week, with Dead and Gone on repeat at times. Those little screams in the second verse hit so hard.
    paythetab and pbueddi like this.
  12. kyleadams

    formerly thisisalchemy Prestigious

    TBH... I think Wolves was a better back-from-the-dead album. This one feels overproduced and hard to pull-off live.
  13. WadeCastle


    i liked wolves but some of the songs dragged plus as a whole it was a hour long, i thought it was too much. but i get it since they had been away for a long time. i do enjoy this one a lot better out of the gate, plus all the songs released prior were awesome as well
    paythetab and metallikunt like this.