Artist: Stick To Your Guns
Genre: Post hardcore
The realm of post hardcore music has spent the past decade slowly spiraling into a pit of clichés and fashion statements. No one is authentic; everyone is inspired by the latest fad in pop culture, and more often than not it seems that bands spend more time creating merchandise than meaningful music. Given the state of the industry, it makes sense that some would cash in while they can, but that in no way justifies such action, and it’s the support of such artists that has lead to the crippling decay of this one great scene. However, amongst the ruins of this once powerful genre lies one band left that can turn things around: Stick To Your Guns.
Now a decade deep in their career, California’s Stick To Your Guns are showcasing on a new level of talent with Diamond. Containing twelve tracks that span a brisk thirty-five minutes, the record proves post-hardcore can still stand for something in a time where most believe it have gone the way of another passing trend.
“Diamond” and “Against Them All” welcome us into the record with a call for family/brother/like-minded people to join together in realization that our bond is all we need. It’s a forceful message, one accompanied by chugging guitars, throat-ripping vocals, and pounding drums, which is exactly the wake up call people need. This bond is then turned to a cry for furthered unity and strength through the circle-pit readied “Such Pain” and aptly titled “The Bond.”
“We Still Believe” begins to arch the record from a battle cry to a more highly evolved rock record built on a decade of miles and experience. This isn’t a bunch of twenty-something guys screaming about girls or how a record label asshole screwed them out of money, no, this is something much more. It may not be clear at first, but the further you dig into Diamond, the more clear it becomes that this band no longer has any sense of self. They are not looking out for STYG, they know there is more than that on the line. This is a music battle for everyone that still believes in the power of music and the right to self-expression, those who feel the weight of the world and keep fighting, and most of all, their fans who have supported them all along.
As the last blaring notes of “Built Upon The Sand” ring out, I dare anyone to not feel a sense of revitalized faith in themselves and whatever it is they have made their life’s goal. Stick To Your Guns have crafted the finest album of their career with Diamond and they did so without compromising a single element of their punishing sound. From lyrics, to the music, to the delivery, Diamond is as good as this genre gets. Enjoy.
If more bands were like Stick To Your Guns, and I mean that in terms of message and purpose (not sound/genre), the world would be a better place.
Review written by: James Shotwell (Twitter)