Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Pop-Punk Pulling You Under | “Quicksand” by The Story So Far


The Story So Far led the pop-punk revival of the 2010s, giving a fresh, new sound to the genre and defining a whole new era for pop-punk. The band is one I would consider part of the “Sad Boi” pop-punk era, a term I learned from music journalist and commentator Finn McKenty. I would describe their sound as sad because of their unique combination of “almost emo” vocals with core sounds from pop-punk.

I think The Story So Far is one of the most underappreciated bands of the past few decades, never quite reaching the mainstream but still finding a relatively large amount of success while maintaining a cult following. A testament to that success is their current tour in the U.K. with pop-punk legends Blink-182. 

The Story So Far released their debut album Under Soil and Dirt on June 21, 2011. Of all the songs off the album, the track “Quicksand” stands out the most. This song doesn’t hold back anything: It’s brash, unapologetic and an absolute gem, opening with drums slamming so hard you can feel it in your chest and distorted guitars racing as fast as a sports car.

Full of angst and emotion, the track is tight, combining the classic speed and sound of pop-punk while straying away from the tongue and cheek lyrics often associated with pop-punk. Lyrically, the song tackles the topic of a struggling relationship, using quicksand as an expression to describe feeling trapped. 

This quicksand, it pulls me under /

It pulls me underneath her

And I’m learning how to live with my unintended consequences / 

While you’re busy jumping fences /

Afraid to stay in one spot for too long.

Most pop-punk bands never dare to be so bold and upfront about serious topics, aside from an occasional track or two. The Story So Far was one of the first bands to keep the core sound of pop-punk and deal with often taboo topics, including mental health struggles and relationships. This, in turn, inspired many in the genre. Their sound is what is most often heard by the genre now in 2023. Influential, raw and full of energy, The Story So Far’s “Quicksand” is everything — and more — that you could want from a pop-punk song.

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