Stick To Your Guns come through with a refined hardcore punk record - one showing progression while simultaneously nixing the chance to alienate their fanbase.
2015 saw Orange County’s Stick To Your Guns release their harshest, most political effort in Disobedient yet the group’s transitionary EP, Better Ash Than Dust felt like a more personal collection of songs marking a period of growth and experimentation that’s more than found a home on their latest full-length True View.
There’s a larger focus on singing and chorus work this time around, moving away from the sheer beatdown of Disobedient. There is of course many chug-a-thons and breakdowns aplenty, but the whole tough-guy attitude feels less forced and far more composed, almost like your drill sergeant came back from a weekend long yoga retreat.
Suffice to say, the message is clearer this time around and one not so obscured by anger. It’s an existential nihilist’s hardcore album backed by Jesse Barnett’s attempt at being more of an open book, lyrically. His vocals are also showing substantial improvement, and with a heavier leaning on singing, can often eerily mimic The Artist In The Ambulance-era Dustin Kensrue of Thrice fame - which is never a bad thing.
'Married To The Noise' is a tidy punk-rock anthem while the album’s latter half houses more floor-punching cuts like ‘You Are Free’ and ‘Doomed By You’. The penultimate ‘Through The Chain Link’ segues cleanly into ‘The Reach For Me Or “Forgiveness Of Self”’, which stands tall as the album’s most triumphant song.
This is a solid hardcore album, wrapped in a nice, existential package. There’s a couple of lesser tracks that don’t really hit the mark as much as they could, but still maintain the vigour and weight of the genre right until you get spin-kicked in your third eye.
Dre’s Top Three:
- Married To The Noise
- Doomed By You
- The Reach For Me Or “Forgiveness Of Self”
You can pick up your copy of True View on CD or Vinyl here.