With their album DIAMOND, Stick To Your Guns blew up with faster than the speed of light in the Hardcore Hall of Fame. A musician friend once told me that the real difficulty is not just to release a great album, but not to disappoint with the next one. The guys from California are in this exact position and want show with their new album DISOBEDIENT that they can better DIAMOND and also meet the expectations of the fans. Is this even possible or does the album just not live up to the expectations? We have listened to the record and have the answer.
I can not deny my expectations to be huge regarding DISOBEDIENT and I didn’t really know if Stick To Your Guns could live up to them. The track ‘Nobody’ has already shown a change in their sound but it is not only the sound that has changed but also hardcore in general. The best example is DEAR YOUTH by The Ghost Inside. As a spearhead of a whole scene and as artists it is just logical for Stick To Your Guns to challenge new paths and to encourage progression. Straight away in the intro ‘Jiddu Krishnamurti’ examples can be heard, just like on the record DIAMOND and THE HOPE DIVISION, it awakes familiar associations. One could suggest these philosophical accompaniments aren’t anything special at all, but they put the finish touch on the sound.
The record starts as usual and the first tracks are oriented to what you are used to the band sounding like. Phenomenal instrumental parts, perfect mixtures of clean vocals and shouts as well as the typical Stick To Ýour Guns moments banging your head hard enough that you’ll probably consider sending Sumerian Records the bill for the next chiropracter appointment. It is hard to put in words but anyone who has listened to Stick To Your Guns knows what I am talking about.
There is a change concerning the track ‘Nobody’ though. Altogether the sound becomes more melodic, which is not comparable with becoming softer. One moves away from stupor, which of course is a kind of natural thing for hardcore, and goes more into artistic fields. This is the kind of progress I have wished for over the last two years. You have to give these guys great credit for the musical experiment and development, which is not always recognised or appreciated by a lot of people within the hardcore scene. And yet it would be just so easy to take a step back and to see music as a form of art and not just a sum of roots, trueness and keeping it real.
The lyrical content has changed and can be described best with the track ‘Revolutionary Mental Attitude’. As previously noticed on the Impericon Never Say Die! Tour 2014, the guys from Orange County try to put political injustices into focus. With statements like these you can definitely piss some people and even fans off but just like the development of the sound, Stick To Your Guns also challenge this and to be honest, I love it! Socio-critical topics are way too uncommon in the lyrics of modern bands. Most of them are more likely limited to personal stories such as family, friends and about brotherhood.
You can tell that just by the sample of the well known scene from Charlie Chaplin in “Great Dictator”. A lot of bands have used this before but in my opinion in the past it’s been somewhat misplaced and half baked. Not so Stick To Your Guns, because I do accept their mindset. This is realness I can agree with.
The run time
The album is a little bit short including 11 tracks, but makes up for it by not arising boredom at all. The tracks are well balanced, some of them have slower parts but enough hard beats to get you moving. After listening to the record a few times I think the album has a great length which is different to how i feel when talking about their previous album DIAMOND. This album was just too long for me.
DISOBEDIENT is not a DIAMOND 2.0 and I am happy about that. But the new path, which the Californians have taken is the right one and the one I believe will lead hardcore into a new direction. A direction I really appreciate but which will also encounter resistance. I expected a new master piece from Stick To Your Guns and I got one. The musical year could not have started any better than that.
Find the exclusive interview about the upcoming record here: