Sorority Noise – ‘Joy Departed’ Review

Posted: by Mitch

Click here to STREAM the album.

Click here to STREAM the album.

Hailing from Hartford Connecticut, which has somewhat recently become an epicenter of amazing music, comes Sorority Noise. Being only a few years old, the 4-piece is no stranger to the punk genre, sharing members with bands like Old Gray and Prawn. And while emo, punk, and indie pop influences could always be heard in the band’s songs, their new album, recently released on Topshelf Records, encompasses the blend of genres like never before.

Although they’ve been consistent in putting out multiple releases each year since their inception, Joy, Departed might just be the collection of songs to really put Sorority Noise on the map. Released on June 16th, there have been nothing but positive responses posted across the web (NOISEY streamed the album in full a day before it’s physical release). While the band has just recently finished a tour with Fireworks and will start one soon with Motion City Soundtrack, I imagine they will have quite the year as Joy, Departed really beings to circulate. 

The album opens with an atmospheric guitar intro to the song ‘Blissith’, which slowly builds intensity both instrumentally and lyrically over a three minute span. Just by the end of track 1, it’s evident that Joy, Departed will be a monumental album for the band, exemplifying the heavily emotional spirit and driving lead guitar parts that fuel the rest of the record.

From then on, the listener is essentially served a lasagna of intensity as tracks go from very heavily weighted tear jerkers, to upbeat, indie pop/ punk riff driven songs (and then back again). While the track list seems to be a little all over the place, I wouldn’t call it inconsistent. Half the time I want to be crying alone in my car as I drive home in the dark, and the other half I want to be screaming the lyrics alongside my best friends. Tracks like ‘Nolsey’ and ‘Art School Wannabe’ oddly remind me of old school Weezer.

There’s no shortage of catchy choruses or vibrant lead guitar riffs on the album, but Sorority Noise found a way to pull off equally memorable down-tempo emotional songs (many including stringed instruments recorded by Michael Underwood). A theme of drug abuse and and social anxiety are obviously strung throughout the ten tracks of Joy, Departed, which gives the melancholy vibe of the record strong imagery and relatability.

My favorite track on the album has to be the closer, ‘When I See You (Timberwolf)’. The melodic vocals and fullness of the song, instrumentally, make it hit the heart strings in a strange but fulfilling way. “… you smell like hospitals, and you look like bad news. And if God is real, I hope he has a plan for you” sings Cameron Boucher about halfway through the tune. Soon after, ‘When I See You’ builds up to the most explosive and emotional minutes of the whole album, bringing the listener full circle. 

8.5/ 10