REVIEW: Sorority Noise – “Art School Wannabe”
by Chad Jewett
Forgettable, last year’s debut LP from power-pop/emo/what-have-you quartet Sorority Noise split its time between dark, biting egoism and tuneful irreverence. “Art School Wannabe”, our first listen from the band’s forthcoming follow-up, Joy, Departed glues those two instincts together, joining a darkly funny narrative about self-doubt and artsy pretense to a swinging major-key bounce. The song finds Sorority Noise further investing in the subtlety that marked the best moments of Forgettable: you get the sense that most of the band’s rough drafts start out with the kind of punchy strum that begins “Art School Wannabe”, but around the edges there are grace notes and atmosphere and sonic depth (especially on the song’s lush, pretty pre-chorus – singer Cam Boucher has never sounded better). The first verse is built around an acoustic guitar, the second swaps it out for Fender Rhodes piano; rhythms pivot to-and-fro; carefully-chosen stray notes blossom wherever there’s room. It’s the sort of attention to detail that reminds you that Sorority Noise are amongst punk’s most committed listeners – the song’s three-and-a-half minutes draw on Cursive, Pinkerton, Jets To Brazil, Blur, all bands obsessed with first-person melodrama and outside-the-box studio approaches. “Art School Wannabe” promises to last past the initial sugary kick of its guitar-pop gloss.