Orange County hardcore punks Stick To Your Guns bring all the heaviness and excitement that you’d expect from the genre, but have the star power of band leader and vocalist Jesse Barnett that takes the band to a level above their peers. Their UK presence has even seen Stick To Your Guns take the leap from sweaty club domination to sold out academies during their recent outing with Architects and Parkway Drive.
The Californians have quickly returned after their excellent 2015 release ‘Disobedient’ with album number six, ‘True View’, and, besides a slight hiccup or two over the thirteen tracks, Stick To Your Guns prove once again why they’re at the top of the pile when it comes to American hardcore.
‘3 Feet From Peace’ opens the record with an eerie voice recording that turns up repeatedly during the song, which utilises soft and harsh vocals for a build-up that explodes with Barnett hitting full gear come the end of the track.
Stick To Your Guns‘ ability to increase the tempo mid-song packs a great intensity, whether it’s a more expansive intro or a riff laden circle pit roll call. ‘Cave Canem’ picks up during the second verse, and the versatility in ‘Delinelle’ maintains an exciting unpredictability throughout.
Generally, the band are better when they avoid the softer melodies and keep Barnett in full assault mode, just as ‘You Are Free’ shows with such an obnoxiously aggressive in-your-face attitude that it stops so abruptly that you’re still creasing your face 10 seconds into the next track.
‘True View’ still hits its peak during the relentlessly quick tracks where the tempo change into the chorus is negligible. ‘Doomed By You’ only takes a break in terms of the instrumental section straight after the chorus, but the gruelling vocals still carry the song up a destructive breakdown which is going to cause unforgivable impact on any stage that Stick To Your Guns land on (and off) for the album’s touring cycle.
When they get it right, they get it so right, and, although some of the choruses are a bit similar here and there (see ’56’ and ‘Married To The Noise’, which are both still individually decent songs), album six is a welcome addition to their outrageously capable discography, and provides plenty of thinking for the band for when they put together their set lists.
Written by Mike Heath (@MikeBeef)