Album Review: Sorority Noise – Forgettable

Hartford, CT pop punk four piece Sorority Noise recently released their debut full length album Forgettable for name-your-own-price download on bandcamp. With varying vocal contributions from every member of the group, the band is composed of guitarist Cameron Boucher of Old Gray, guitarist Kevin O’Donnell and drummer Jason Rule of Two Humans, and guitarist Adam Ackerman of Real Life Parody, resulting in an eclectic punk album that has moments ranging from soft ballads to grueling moments of angst. Boucher also produced the album, and his emotionally charged lyrics seem to be the leading force for the fun, upbeat, punk instrumentals and spirit of the album. For more lyrical explanation from Boucher himself, see Property of Zack.

Forgettable’s best moments come in its brutally honest lyrics, like on album-opener “Rory Shields” where Boucher deals with the emptiness of a relationship, “Kiss me, like you mean it, and by mean it, I mean lie to me again” before he and the entire band scream why they want it to mean something. Screaming “But I want something more! No, I want to feel pure! I want to feel clean just like I used to!” on the first track is one of the best examples of their mix of fun punk and screamo, as are “Dirty Ickes” and “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs.” This band is able to take their manic thoughts and feelings and write catchy hooks that have the same intensity; even if you don’t feel as bad you’ll probably find yourself singing along: “So I drove home, at a hundred miles an hour, just to see what it feels like to fly! I crashed my car, into someone else’s backyard, just to see what it feels like to die!” Their darkest moments demand attention, most notably on the same song when Boucher straight up says that he’ll do it: “I hope you miss me when I’m gone, because I can’t hold on for too long. And I’m so scared of dying alone! That I’ll kill myself right here! right now! And I’ll die!” in a shockingly heavy conclusion.

Other tracks are less harsh, like “Mediocre At Best,” which garner its strength from harmonies, a slow but driving tempo, and a backing acoustic guitar. “Queen Anne’s Lace” has some of the most intriguing guitar work on the album, along with one of the cleanest vocal takes. Very personal lyrics come on “Still Shrill,” where Boucher points out the ‘perfections’ of the people around him, namely family members and ex-girlfriends, while the guitar does more shredding lines. The final two songs on the album are more somber, “Smooth Jazz” features violin, and “Smoke” ends the album longing for existential justice, or maybe just to be lied to like he was in the first place: “Sleep next to me, tell me everything is how it should be.”

Forgettable brings an angriness and passion to pop punk that is far too often missing, their memorable lyrics deal with growing up, terrible relationships, death, and depression in a way that is equally appealing and passionate through its catchy hooks and screaming explosions. Go listen/download now, and order the record on vinyl from Storm Chasers Records here.

Sorority Noise has landed a well-deserved spot on a stacked tour with Modern Baseball, The Hotelier, and Tiny Moving Parts that will bring them to The Barbary for two shows on June 1st. The 7 PM show is sold out, but get tickets to the 3 PM show here.

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