YOU’RE NOT AS ____ AS YOU THINK by Sorority Noise


Image Source

Genre: Emo

Favorite Tracks: “A Portrait Of,” “Disappeared,” “Leave The Fan On,” “New Room”

Since 2013, Sorority Noise has had no problem telling us exactly how it is. Led by frontman Cameron Boucher, the Connecticut four piece is consistently blunt, toothy, and cathartic, providing two full length albums filled with massive guitar leads, pop hooks, and singalongs that have risen above the noise of other acts cashing in on teenaged unease and invisibility. YOU’RE NOT AS ____ AS YOU THINK, the band’s third LP release via Triple Crown Records, features Boucher moving away from his own disappearance and staring sleeplessly at the death of his friends.


YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK is sonically soaring. It’s tremendous. It eclipses the two previous Sorority Noise records two times over. Nearly every song features layered vocals, spoken word sections, whaling guitar intrusions, and anthemic choruses. The production as a whole is extremely cohesive, creating a tonal through line that reminds me of old emo-operas à la THE BLACK PARADE.


Sorority Noise work in familiar songwriting patterns on YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK. More often than not, songs will begin with muted guitars and soft, poppy vocals from Boucher until the full band comes crashing in somewhere around the first chorus. These patterns, while emotionally provocative, make a lot of the songs feel architecturally safe and a little boring. Boucher’s lyrics (which I will get to in a second), feel stepped on by the extremely overdriven lead guitars, often shrieking into songs with feedback out of nowhere. While listening, I wished that I could have had a few more quiet moments with Boucher before the rest of the band disrupted the intimacy with enormous crescendo.


Like I said, Cameron Boucher is blunt. And it’s not for everyone. Even as a fan of the band, I have found myself cringing before at how truly raw his words can be. The content on YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK is no different. The album begins with “No Halo,” which gives off the strong impression of forward momentum, and by the second track, “A Portrait Of,” it’s not hard to put together what Boucher is talking about. But do we land on anything new with all of this inertia by the time the band is done? I don’t think so, but maybe that doesn’t matter.


When I found out Sorority Noise was dealing in heavens and devils and Gods on this record, I was nervous. These themes have become a sort of cliché within the genre, and without proper deployment, I feared Boucher wouldn’t be able to take us to where we, or he, needed to be by the end of the album’s 10 tracks. After repeated listens, I found that YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK doesn’t lead us anywhere new, but that Boucher doesn’t necessarily need to go anywhere. It’s emotionally black and white, but those are the only colors the band wanted to paint with in the first place. Through its enormous instrumentals and rapid fire meditations on overdose and suicide, YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK lets us simply exist for 30 minutes in Boucher’s restless, grief-saturated skull. The band ends in the same place it begins and it feels good to be there with them.


On YOU’RE NOT AS _____ AS YOU THINK, Sorority Noise is still telling us how it is, but they aren’t giving us any answers. We don’t have to figure it out with Cameron, or even pose the right questions that could possibly lead us to figuring it out. Instead, all we have to do is sit and sing and scream to 10 heart-wrenching, sonically tremendous tracks. By “New Room,” the final song on the album, Boucher invites us to not scream, but breathe, slowly and together.

Verdict: Recommend

Sam Sarokin is a writer and director from southern California. He's a senior in college and just started puberty.

You may also like...