Having romanced with the Hardcore genre in my latter teenage years the genre will always hold a place dear to me. The spirit of Hardcore is giving a voice to the common man, the common struggles we all face. Nevertheless, it’s hard for me to admit but much of the material that has been coming out of the scene of late has been very beige and uninspiring. Straight out of Orange County in California, Stick To Your Guns have been making quite the racket since 2003. Dipping into the band’s discography here and there, it was with slight reticence that I approached the bands brand new album True View. More fool me.
Returning with their first full length since Disobedient, Stick To Your Guns kick down this “beige door” with the first track from the absolutely brilliant True View. Following the setting of the scene in “3 Feet From Peace“. The lengthy title of “The Sun, The Moon, The Truth “Penance of Self”” brings the trademark elements from the Hardcore bayou in spades with an interesting slight atonal section in the chorus, giving it a slight element of being off balance. With more hooks than a cloakroom, working in melody, the band are experts at creating an interesting and most importantly memorable chorus “Married To The Noise” being a perfect example of the defiant spirit of Hardcore with a more melodic side slant.
It’s not all wistful smiles however, “You Are Free” sees the signature arrival of Hardcore’s most deadly of weapons, two step. Basing itself on interesting dynamics put forward by the work between the relationship on drums moving from half time beats with guitars bringing a real sense of movement to the track it’s a stroke of genius. Lyrically the album bases itself on the idea of looking at yourself, in the hopes getting the bands’ fans to have a good, honest look at themselves, it also acts as a vehicle for expression for frontman Jesse Barnett. Acting somewhat as a concept album midsection and frank talking “The Inner Authority : “Realization of Self” is a stark simplistic look at oneself. Similarly “Through The Chain Link” has a rousing sentiment to it, proving that Stick To Your Guns have more than just something to say.
Ending on the rather poignant note of “The Reach For Me “Forgiveness Of Self”” the chapter of the album concludes in a more positive aspect than perhaps it began. Though stand out track is undeniably “The Better Days Before Me” blasting off at intimidating speeds, its here that Stick To Your Guns‘ ace in the hole of choruses comes to the fore, small injections of octaves in the chorus build the anticipation to fever pitch for the heroic midsection. True View represents everything that Hardcore stands for. Understanding values of the world, the struggles yourself and the common victories in the world, True View is unflinching, honest look at the changes you can make in yourself with an absolutely killer soundtrack.