There's a how-to guide for everything these days, from Instant Piano to Sex For Dummies. Nonetheless, it was still a little disappointing to discover Story Of The Year's debut album, Page Avenue, was crafted straight out of the alternative metal textbook.
From start to finish, everything on Page Avenue is standard procedure, from the worn out power chord progressions and punk drum licks to the flurries of manufactured angst from singer Dan Marsala. Just as cliched are the teen fluff lyrics, with lines like, "if you die right now/you know that I'd die too," or "the stars will cry the blackest tears tonight," which would sound lame coming from an '80's pop diva, but from a metal band are just embarrassing.
On the other hand, if you can get past the complete absence of creativity, Page Avenue is a solidly composed and produced album, comparable to the alternative metal side of Linkin Park. Not coincidentally, Story Of The Year is currently touring with Linkin Park and P.O.D., a fact that suggests most pop metal fans would find Page Avenue a welcome addition to their CD collection.