Two years ago, I was sickeningly hyperbolic in my review of the band’s previous full-length effort, Joy Departed, and it looks like history is bound to repeat itself with You’re Not As ____ As You Think. Every time that I go to write about this record, I get that feeling of butterflies in my stomach; like the words I’m putting down aren’t written well enough to accurately represent the album. YNAAYT feels like Sorority Noise perfected; a blend of their past bodies of work and the present moment working together in perfect harmony to create something magical.
Musically, the album doesn’t feel as grandiose as Joy, Departed, but it does feel more tightly wound to the lyrical narrative and vocal delivery on the record. It’s subtle without being too subtle, like when a movie is scored so perfectly that it hits you in the heart in such a way that you can’t help but feel something. It’s atmospheric before becoming building, only to come crashing down around you in the most genuine and powerful moments of emotional release you could ask for. YNAAYT is the kind of harrowing conversation about the effects of death and mental illness that leaves you feeling even just a little bit lighter knowing that there’s somebody else out there that gets it; feeling that the nagging internal turmoil isn’t only friends with you.
A moment that really struck me the first time I heard it, and has managed to do so and only grow in power with every listen, comes from my candidate for song of the goddamn year, “Disappeared.” There’s an overpowering feeling of release that comes from the lyrical imagery and group delivery of the line “I let my hair down today/and I took a shower for the first time in what felt like weeks” that wells my eyes up every time. It’s a simple lyric that isn’t dressed up for the sake of dressing up, depicting an action that is so overwhelmingly small, but feels like an immense personal victory nonetheless. It’s simple in a way that allows it to feel bigger than it is; a moment of vulnerability that most people can grasp onto.
Sorority Noise continues to grow rapidly, and each new release feelings leaps and bounds ahead of what they’ve done before. It’s been a joy to watch them transform from the cynical band they were on Forgettable into the masterful musicians they are now. You’re Not As ___ As You Think is an album that celebrates those small moments of vulnerability. It’s a lyrically harrowing, emotionally cathartic, and perfectly performed body of work that speaks to the feelings that remind us that we’re human. This is going to be that record for a lot of people. Sorority Noise will become that band for a lot of people, and I am so goddamn excited for that.