Sorority Noise runs deep

Well-written, well-crafted, and well-performed: Sorority Noise delivers

By: Jackson Sadinsky

When I first heard Sorority Noise, I was going through a tough time. In the peak of my teenage angst, I was lost in the storm of confusion and struggle that can only be described as a hormonal atomic bomb – one that every teenager is familiar with. Regardless, the words of the songs immediately stuck with me, and I knew that I had to see this band live. From the beautiful jazzy guitars to the curling screams, the first effort I heard from the band, 2014’s Forgettable, proved to be nothing of the sort. So, when the band announced their tour to support the release of new album You’re Not As ____ As You Think (just vocalize the blank), I was ecstatic to go, and the show proved every bit as incredible as I had hoped.

IMG_1860The Cat’s Cradle is an incredible venue with a caring staff and a talented sound crew, which makes the often long journey to get there well worth it. As I pulled into the parking garage that neighbors the venue, I heard a loud rebellious yell come from my left side. I looked, and saw a group of hooligan misfits with long hair, skinny jeans, and band shirts on shouting (in unison): “North Carolina!” over and over. I laughed, and made my way into the venue. Imagine my shock, when minutes later, the same group took to the stage, and in the same youthful, rebellious voice, shouted together, “North Carolina! We are The Obsessives! And we are the greatest band in the United States!” The five-piece strung together a wildly fun, inviting, and loud set – everything you would hope for. The Obsessives brought to the table more than I was expecting, playing mainly off of their new album, LP2, which features addictive vocals, beautifully depreciative lyrics, and ska-esque keys. It sounds like Weezer, (first-album) Cage the Elephant, and the heavier side of Modern Baseball all had a love-child, and it works incredibly. After the show, I spoke with Jackson and Andrew from the band.

S16: What’re three things that people looking to get into your band should know about you guys?

Jackson: You’ve got to like to dance!

Andrew: You have to love burritos-

Jackson: And hot sauce… and hot sauce to go with it.

Andrew: Keep it real for number three?

Jackson: Yeah, keep it real…, respect, communication!

Check out The Obsessives here. (Starter tracks: Surfer Rosa; You’re My God; If You Really Love Me)

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Up next, Sinai Vessel took to the stage. This three piece hails from North Carolina, so I knew there would be love coming from the crowd for them. As they began, the place began to sway immediately, and the first real pits of the night materialized out of the right side of the venue. With surprisingly melodic vocals accompanied with a pounding and vibrant instrumentation, Sinai Vessel channels a more mature sound than that of The Obsessives, but succeeds in doing so with beauty and grace. While it came to light during the show, that the bassist, Daniel Hernandez, and drummer, Joshua Herron, would be leaving the band following this tour, Caleb Cordes, vocalist and guitarist of the band, made it very evident that the band would continue, just with some “time to reassemble” needed. Following a heartfelt moment of thunderous applause for the two members, Cordes dove into an acoustic beautiful cover of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” following which, the band continued as they were.

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The group played mainly off of their newest album Brokenlegged, a strong piece that contains gigantic anthems such as opening track “Looseleaf,” slow acoustic tracks such as “Died On My Birthday,” and smart-riff led songs such as “Birth Blood.” As their set continued, the gratitude of the band grew more and more apparent, and the crowd seemed absorbed into their set, mesmerized by the tales the lyrics spelled out. If you’re a fan of Tiny Moving Parts’ guitar work, and generally narrative, intelligent, thought provoking lyrics, Sinai Vessel is your new favorite band.

After the show, I spoke with Caleb.

S16: What’re three things that people looking to get into your band should know about you guys?

Caleb: I think the lyrics are important, in our band. It’s not necessarily always obvious, you know, because we’re a loud band and you might not hear it, but the lyrics are an important – maybe bonus part. We try to tell a lot of stories in there. I love Tom Petty, that’s another one. I love being from the south, that’s another one!

Take a listen to Sinai Vessel here. (Starter tracks: Dogs; Birth Blood; Looseleaf)

IMG_1924After a short intermission, the moment that everyone in the venue was waiting for came. Sorority Noise took to the stage, and opened with the emotional “Second Letter from St. Julien,” a piece that starts slow and climaxes into an explosive emotional breakdown (just like a great many other Sorority Noise tracks). When the song started, the crowd was spaced out – and as it climaxed the crowd became exactly what you’d expect: crowdsurfers appeared out of nowhere, the crowd compressed into one another, and the noise of Cameron Boucher’s (singer of Sorority Noise) lyrics being yelled at full volume by every single person at the show was deafening. The trend continued, and it was in those moments of yelling in ways that I didn’t know I could that I realized why Sorority Noise was successful. It was the words, above all else that propelled them to where they are today. Every single person in attendance was yelling as loud as they could, to whoever they could, about the pain that they had been through – and the fact that they made it out. These words meant something, and that was the beauty of it all.

As the band continued to play bangers such as “Blonde Hair, Black Lungs,” a jazzy guitar riff that ends in a barrage of yelling the simple phrase “and I’ll die,” the crowd refused to relent, releasing energy that was previously unknown to exist. This energy continued through the whole show, not even stopping for the small, slow breaks of songs such as “A Better Sun.” As a band adamantly against setlists (they print them, they just don’t stick to them,) Sorority Noise’s set changes every night, and that dynamic, free-flowing, and open ended strategy enables the band to feel out the crowd, feel out themselves, and figure out what to play next, creating a truly unique and must-see experience. As the band reached the end of their set, preceding the one song played at every show, “Using”, frontman Cameron Boucher shared with the crowd his struggles, and offered advice, stating that “if you deal with those things, it’s important that you take care of yourself, and that you are loved, and that you know that.”

As “Using” faded out, the slow, creeping intro to “Your Soft Blood” began, a song that is as chilling

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as it is anthemic. As the song reached its peak, the stage manifested itself into a physical representation of the baggage carried by the members of the band and the crowd, as in full emotion all amps were turned to 11, the drums hit harder than they had all night,  and the emotion was as present as it could possibly be. The tension in the room had been rising throughout the song, and was finally released as the band disappeared from the stage. After almighty shouts from the audience, the group came out for one final song, “Art School Wannabe,” which promised a happy, proud, and loud ending to the evening of music.

Check out Sorority Noise here. (Starter Tracks: Using; Blonde Hair, Black Lungs; No Halo)

I came to this show for Sorority Noise. Their set was one of the best that I have ever had the pleasure of attending, and they are a must-see. However, show up to these shows early, because both The Obsessives and Sinai Vessel offer incredible, fun sets. This was a show that I will never forget, and you can check out the remaining tour dates below.

 

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