This ‘Stories Of Living’ article was written by Jack Press, a GIGsoup contributor
Neck Deep, As It Is, State Champs – they’re all knocking it out of the park and eating a pizza on the way round the ballpark with their pop-punk-by-numbers attack that’s taking the world – and the vans warped tour – by storm. New Jersey’s Stories Of Living are one of a good thousand or so to hop on the bandwagon with their very own slice of pop-punk pizza – and it’s a pretty good one.
Save Your Breath – not to be confused with a deceased pop-punk band from eons ago – is not just an album but a pizza box of twelve slices all identical to each other. If you ordered pepperoni, you’ve probably got triple in this one, trust me. From the one-two pounding of opener Enough Is Enough to the one-two pounding of closer If The World Didn’t Suck, We’d All Fall Off – Save Your Breath is an album that sounds as identical as a pair of twins at birth.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll all be groaning right now and cursing the world for yet another pop-punk pizza that tastes – and sounds – exactly the same as the last million pizzas you’ve ordered. Don’t start ordering something else though because whilst every track on Save Your Breath sounds similar, they all sound absolutely killer from the beginning of the song to the very end – jam packed with riffs to dance to, lyrics to chant to, and that old-school pop-punk feel.
If there was a degree in pop-punk, Stories Of Living would of passed with flying colours with Save Your Breath – an album that pays as much homage to their forefathers in Blink-182 as it does their peers in As It Is. Both of those bands get a kick off singing about their failed relationships, dodgy house party experiences, and why life sucks for them and it’s no different for Stories Of Living. Each song is like an entry from vocalist Chris River’s diary – Fxck This Party is all about one of those nights that just went so wrong but felt so right at the time whilst Skin Deep is that page in your diary that was the hardest to write with oceans of tears flowing down your face.
Whilst the themes of this album are so stereotypically pop-punk it should be illegal, it’s a lyrical strong record with it’s simple messages wrapped up in a pretty bow laced with meaningfulness – “I know you’re out there, it may take a while/ a hundred million footsteps for a hundred thousand miles” – Out There’s lyrics are some of the best on the album, those words that just play around in your head for days because you know you’ve just listened to a song that is pretty much your life in a nutshell.
All of the songs on this record are great, even the titles are great – Don’t Lose Your Dinosaur for starters – yet afterwards you’re left feeling somewhat empty, as if this record, and this band have so much more to prove than what they’ve given you – as if they could give so much more.
If Save Your Breath is the first volume of the many tales Stories Of Living wish to diffuse with us, then this will be the beginning of a very long career making delicious tasting pop-punk for many years to come.