One of the hottest groups out of New England, Sorority Noise may be less than a year old, but they are quickly finding their way in the music scene. Consisting of members of cult Connecticut band Two Humans (RIP) and New Hampshire post-hardcore outfit Old Gray, Sorority Noise has already gained a nationwide following and recently toured with Modern Baseball and The Hotelier. The band’s debut album, Forgettable, is anything but forgettable, a 22-minute whirlwind album that will stick with you for months to come.
Sorority Noise plays a distinct brand of smart and catchy punk. It isn’t pretentious or aggressive, just loud and fun with a small hint of emo. For those familiar with the group’s predecessor, Two Humans, Forgettable will make you feel right at home. The record’s nine songs can be intense, fun or emotive at any given moment, as Sorority Noise puts themselves out there for all to hear, and the results are spot on.
It may be a debut album, but this record shows real chemistry between the group’s four members. The gang yells feel natural, pulsing guitars complement the pounding drums, and the melodies are equal parts fun and mopey. The occasionally tongue-in-cheek lyrics discuss typical emo trappings like girls, loneliness and overall sadness, but with a distinct voice. The words are simple, genuine, and do not aim to be felt. Rather they are merely expressed in a catharsis of talk-sings and yells about mediocrity and attempts to gain acceptance. The lyrics work with the guitars and drums to portray early 20s angst with maturity, rather than self-pity.
While the combination of Two Humans (a fun punk group) and Old Gray (a serious post-hardcore/screamo band) seems strange, this juxtaposition allows Sorority Noise to expand their sound ever-so-slightly. The band is undoubtedly punk, but Cameron Boucher’s touches of post-rock guitar rhythms and string motifs work to enhance, rather than overpower, the record. The opener, “Rory Shield”, has slight guitar punches that feel out of place, but are instead perfect, while the strings on “Smooth Jazz”, despite their subtlety, take the acoustic track to a new level.
The album’s closer, “Smoke”, is perhaps the most Old Gray-esque track on the album. The group combines intense percussion, emotional guitar work and swelling strings together to create a sense of feeling and power. It is too intense to be Two Humans, but does not feel intense enough to be Old Gray. Instead, “Smoke” is uniquely Sorority Noise, another loud and powerful piece of the bumpy ride that is Forgettable.
If Two Humans had a little more time, there is a good chance that Jason Rule and Kevin O’Donnell could have been household names in the punk community. In six short years, the group played shows around New England and the Northeast, making friends while making a name for themselves along the way. While their breakup is unfortunate, the Two Humans legacy lives on with Sorority Noise. Their debut album, Forgettable, makes it clear that they are a force to be reckoned with, another name on the growing list of great punk groups emerging from the New England community.