1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 321

What You Don’t See, by The Story So Far
Suggested by Todd Beckett

What You Don’t See, by The Story So Far, is a thirty-minute pop punk album released in 2013. But I’m not going to talk much about that today.

Instead, as it’s Album 321, I’m going to discuss Dusty Bin.

For ten years, through the late Seventies and early Eighties, Saturday night TV belonged to Ted Rogers. His primetime TV game show was 3-2-1, which saw couples decode obtuse clues supplied by variety acts such as The Krankies, The Chuckle Brothers, Bob Carolgees, The Great Suprendo, and Keith Harris and Orville. The nonsensical riddle-style clues led to fabulous prizes such as a combined sofa-and-pool-table, or a year’s supply of fish… but one led to the booby prize, Dusty Bin.

(For their second album, The Story So Far deliver eleven three-minute pop-punk songs that each display a frenetic screamo edge. The songs are neat, and tight, and liable to burst at the seams. Leaning heavily on the Punk aspect of Pop Punk, there’s little surprising on offer. They don’t stray too far from the formula, although there’s an implied threat that they are on the cusp in every passing minute. The songs all meld into one, with my current favourite being the marginally paired-back Right Here. I’d like to say there were others of note, but if I did I would be lying.)

Dusty Bin was 3-2-1’s rudimentary robot mascot. “He” was basically a metal bin on wheels, sporting a smiling face. In the show, he’d be routinely wheeled on when the contestants made poor decisions. Dusty was fully robotised using seventy-three microprocessors, at an astronomical-for-the-Seventies cost of £10,000. Dusty’s antics included dressing as a caveman, juggling, riding a jetpack and more. I’ve heard that the Saudi Royal Family were such huge Dusty Bin fans that they paid “his” creator and operator obscene amounts of money each year to fly out and perform a bespoke Dusty Bin show for a private audience, whatever that entails.

(As you’ve undoubtedly fathomed, this album did not grip me. It sounded like an amalgam of other albums and artists, as if a chef were making a gumbo with Pop-Punk, Emo, Screamo and Post-Hardcore CDs, blitzing them all in a food processor to produce a passable yet average paste. By aiming for the creative centre, the most crowded intersection in this particular Venn Diagram, The Story So Far have created something that can be bested on every singular metric by the ingredient bands that made up the meal.)

3-2-1 was a formative show in my youth. I’d spend hours practicing Ted Rogers’s signature hand gesture. We made our own fun back then. Kids today don’t know they’re born, with their iPods and their dabs and their planking. Nevertheless, it’s been fun, riffing off the review number. Maybe I can do more in the future. I could discuss demonic black metal for Album 666, The Police for Album 999. Rey Mysterio for Album 619, internet issues for Album 404. The possibilities are manifold.

Alas, I suspect no one would care. After all, there’s only one important number per review… and this time, What You Don’t See gets a lukewarm 5/10.

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