#161 – Sidewalks


Artist – Story of the Year
Album – Page Avenue
Year – 2003
Genre – Post-Hardcore/Pop-Punk

Ever hear one of those songs that just makes you miss your hometown? Yeah, that’s this song for me. It’s a song about looking back, but also about looking forward. It’s where you’ve come from, where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. I hope that when you listen, you can close your eyes and picture your own hometown as I do. Recall all the good memories you have.

The staccato guitar opening quickly gives way to passionate strumming and frontman Dan Marsala’s bursting to life. There’s some great string backing throughout, and it adds to the emotion of the song a great deal. So does Marsala’s voice. His heart and memory are tied directly to the lyrics of the song, and you can feel it in every line, especially the last two lines

The town that we lived in.
The memories shaken apart from the weeds that grow

When he sings those lines, you feel every nuance of the melody, and it just makes you drift away in your memory. So does the chorus, and Marsala reaches his vocal heights over some really cool acoustic drumming. There’s another quick guitar break and some marvelous string work, and then the song kicks into high gear.

The cymbal keeps the time, and the harmonies will soar. This by far the catchiest and most nostalgic verse:

Out on the front porch,
watching the cars as they go by
(Eighteen blue, twenty one grey)
Looking ahead for the first time that we could drive,
Out on our own,
To speed away

Those first two lines hit home, as I can remember sitting on my front porch on warm summer days watching the traffic pass, waiting for my friends to arrive. I’m sure this is a memory that doesn’t belong only to me, which is why those lines really are far reaching. But seriously, the harmony is stupid good, as is the quick snare beat that closes out the verse and leads into the next triumphant chorus. Something about the whole chord progression of this song and Marsala’s voice just really helps you picture things in your mind’s eye.

The bridge is a bit somber, but Marsala gets to show off his vocal talent, and it’s followed by a lovely string break and features both rock and acoustic drum parts over the top of each other. However, there’s a prechorus intro that leads into the very last chorus, and it changes the melody. It builds a ton of suspense and sounds fantastic.

And then they kick it off one last time with all barrels firing. The guitar finally switches to a more electric tone and harmonies are everywhere. It’s a swirling storm of hometown happiness, and the song really finishes with that optimism of of good things to come. You can always remember the past, but always remember to look to the future.

Thanks for reading, as always. Be sure to let me know what you think of the song in the comments!


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