Album Review: Stick To Your Guns – True View

Release Date: October 13th, 2017.

Stick To Your Guns are no stranger to the appretiators of very, very loud music. The American hardcore band has stuck around for over a decade now and has not lost any of its original power, especially when it comes to performing live. After absurd amounts of touring the entire world, the five-piece from Orange County, California will release their sixth full-length True View on October 13th 2017 through Pure Noise Records.

As a fan of hardcore music, I have been following Stick To Your Guns for quite a few years and have seen them become a household name worldwide. Their sound over the years, despite several line-up changes, has however stayed very consisent. It’s quite unbelievable how a band can manage to still sound so characteristically themselves after years of writing and touring, yet never having written anything that sounds like something they have done before. True View is no exception: it is an album filled with thirteen stand-out hardcore tracks with melodic touches and massive breakdowns.

Track ‘The Sun, The Moon, The Truth: Penance of Self’ was released as the first single of the album in July. Lead singer Jesse Barnett explains how the track is about embracing honesty with yourself. “I came to a point where I realized no one is going to keep me accountable for my actions but myself. I lost some of the most important things in my life these last few years and I had nowhere left to hide. I had to face my fire. I had to finally, for fucking once, live with the hurt I created. I had to own my mistakes and it’s been the heaviest weight I’ve ever had to carry.” The song echoes this statement both lyrically and musically. The song has that classic STYG-sound: melodic hardcore where screams and clean vocals mix together with a powerful base of guitars and loud drums, followed by a solid breakdown. Speaking of which: in the breakdown we hear Barnett give a voice to the feelings he has had over the last years: ‘Now I must live with the hurt, the pain I’ve made returns’.

Guitarist Josh James adds that this is the general tone of the rest of the album as well. “I really wanted to intentionally create an album that sonically reflects the feeling of modern life: depression, anger, fear, hope, happiness, forgiveness and clarity. A feeling of breaking through the dark shit in life and the journey of the struggle that ends up elevating you to a new, smarter, stronger, better version of yourself.” Stick To Your Guns have always been advocates of keeping your head up, with lyrics and songs that emphasise moving forward in life in the biggest sense of the word. In a world that seems darker than ever, it is great to have an album like True View to not only acknowledge the bad, but work from that to achieve the good.

True View is an album that fits in seamlessly with the rest of Stick To Your Guns’ discography. Maybe there is not much musical growth, but since Stick To Your Guns still have kept their signature sound, this is not a bad thing at all. On the contrary. It is an absolute joy listening to True View and it might even my favourite Stick To Your Guns record to date (although 2012’s Diamond is a strong competitor as well). No, instead of musical development, personal growth seem to be the significant theme of this album. With Barnett and James stressing the impact of modern life in all its aspects as a continuous influence on the songs, the album gets a whole new special meaning that so many others can also relate to. And to me that is what hardcore truly is about – honesty, openness, a big middle finger to the world but trying to see the positive in things and change things for the good at the same time. With this being said, Stick To Your Guns have released an extremely successful hardcore album.

True View can be preordered from the official Stick To Your Guns site. The band are touring the UK and Europe in November and December. Check out the flyer for a date near you!

Linda Köke

I'm Linda, a Dutch 24 year old art and music lover. I am an art historian, working for a contemporary art platform, parttime cultural blogger, a very culinary inclined vegan (yes I will bake cookies for you!), a mother of two cats and I spend almost half my spare time on planes to or in the United Kingdom.

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