A year after 2015's breakout Joy, Departed album, Connecticut-based emo act Sorority Noise returned with the incessantly bleak It Kindly Stopped for Me EP, a quietly desperate four-song set devoted to four of frontman Cameron Boucher's friends who, in quick succession, took their own lives. In a genre prone to inflated expressions of suburban ennui, few artists are actually thrust so legitimately into the deep end of depression and still manage to maintain their careers. Kudos then to Boucher and his comrades, who continue to use their music as both a therapeutic scratch pad and outlet for personal catharsis. Produced by Mike Sapone (Brand New, Taking Back Sunday), Sorority Noise's third album, You're Not as _____ as You Think, is not quite as difficult a listen as its preceding EP, nor is it the return to dynamic form some fans had hoped for. In that respect, it's rather unflinching, as Boucher outwardly continues to process grief and his own mental health without deigning to offer something more consistently palatable to Triple Crown, the label that signed them just before the troubles began. Beginning with "No Halo," a hard-hitting highlight of melodic form, the album cycles through its various grief stages ranging from total misery ("First Letter from St. Sean") to partially broken insecurity ("A Better Sun") to near hopefulness ("Disappeared") as Boucher spills his guts, trying to bootstrap his way through while getting propped up by his band of brothers. Tonally falling somewhere between Joy, Departed and It Kindly Stopped for Me, the album's blunt confessionalism doesn't always make for an inviting world, but is nothing if not completely honest.
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AllMusic Review by Timothy Monger