Editor's Rating

Have a listen to "No Tolerance"

8.5
Rating out of 10

Stick To Your Guns – Better Ash Than Dust

Release Date: 23rd September 2016
Pure Noise Records
iTunes: http://apple.co/2d72NYS

Since the release of their 2015 album, ‘Disobedient’, Melodic hardcore outfit Stick To Your Guns have had a hectic schedule, touring heavily and evidently finding time to record an EP. The Orange County lads have joined the Pure Noise Records family, and through their new label Stick To Your Guns have brought us ‘Better Ash Than Dust’. After witnessing the quintet headline a 10/10 show back in February, we’ve certainly been excited about this release.

Stick To Your Guns are at their best when they are their angriest, their vicious nature is quite frankly their most hooking feature and straight away on ‘Better Ash Than Dust’, the opening and title track kicks off in a pure violent manner. Vocalist Jesse Barnett‘s venomous signature shouts are met with crushing riffs and hard hitting beats, creating a pure pit start from the beginning. The song swiftly evolves towards an anthemic piece with a clean chorus that invites a mass sing along from any crowd. This can easily become a live favourite.

‘Universal Language’ continues the motive on assaulting the ears with sheer brutality, igniting that metallic hardcore side within the five piece. Originally this song was planned to be launched at a later date, but the release was brought forward following the spate of shootings across the US and the bombings in Baghdad which left 292 people dead last month. Stick To Your Guns dedicated the song to victims of violence across the world.

Barnett said: “This song is for the world who only communicates with violence and to those who only open their mouth when things get bloody. There is a better way and I am confident we will get there some day.” Evidently, the topic matches the music.

‘No Tolerance’ is another out and out hardcore anthem for fans to stomp around to, and it’s up there as one of their most pissed off tracks, reminding me of their older hit, ‘Such Pain‘. Relentless energy is unleashed as the tempo rises for fast aggressive shouts, beats and riffs. Laced with gang vocals, and a segment for two-stepping, it’s an absolute beast of a track that is designed to cause chaos. ‘The Neverending Story’ mixes things up by providing the catchiest chorus of the EP, providing chirpy vocal melodies that balance out the ferocious attitude delivered in the verses.

The EP closes with ‘The Suspend’, which is without a doubt the most influenced by their melodic side, pushing closer to sound like Being As An Ocean with spoken shouts instead.  The guitars lay an atmospheric wall of sound, giving an epic feel to the final song. It’s a fantastic closer to a brilliant EP, without a doubt some of the best material I have heard from the band since they released ‘Diamond’ in 2012.

‘Better Ash Than Dust’ is a collection of five tracks that set free all kind of passion and emotions that have been built up within the band. Anger seems to be key and Stick To Your Guns don’t bite their tongues lyrically when it comes to their political beliefs, though they never have done. It’s a great effort and I look forward to hearing more when the time comes.

For fans of: The Ghost Inside, Your Demise, Parkway Drive

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