So They Say

Antidote for Irony

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It's unclear whether the title of So They Say's full-length debut, Antidote for Irony, was supposed to be a statement on the take-yourself-way-too-seriously aesthetic of the Warped Tour scene of the mid-2000s. However, it fittingly describes So They Say in the sense that their take on emo is a straightforward and melodic one. With one foot rooted in pop-punk sensibilities and the other planted in post-hardcore strain, So They Say have created 11 smooth, emotion-filled songs that -- probably due in part to producer Matt Squire's touch -- just manage to sidestep a generic branding. Just is the operative word, however, as vocals occasionally resemble a tougher version of the Starting Line circa "Best of Me" and really, that's all been heard before. The album begins well enough with the pensive sentiments of "In Loving Memory Of" -- a midtempo tune that ponders one's own funeral among subtle string arrangements and engaging vocals. Near the record's end, however, the band seems to be getting a little ahead of itself with the ambient "Act Like You're Listening, Till It's Your Turn to Talk," whose indulgent and spacy qualities don't quite fit in with the rest of the album. Nevertheless, the record still plays as enjoyable and there are enough strong ideas present to hint at So They Say's ability to expand past their angst beyond this debut.

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