Overall Score: 9/10 Riffs: 9/10 Vocal Performance: 10/10 Breakdowns: 9/10 Pros: Excellent Riffs | Outstanding vocal delivery | Beautiful melodies Cons: Guest vocalist segments too short | It's over in a flash
Orange County’s Stick To Your Guns have steadily built their reputation in the modern hardcore scene. 2012’s Diamond propelled the band into countless tours and festival appearances and now, three years later the band are back with their fifth studio record; Disobedient. Does this new offering by Stick To Your Guns match the excellence that was Diamond, or does it fall short of the mark?
Disobedient starts with an absolute bang. The short opener It Starts With Me builds anticipation before roaring into What Choice Did You Give Us?, one of the tracks the band had released prior to the record coming out. Perhaps that is what is so enriching about the opening moments to Disobedient, the three tracks Stick To Your Guns released before the record dropped (What Choice Did You Give Us?, Nobody and RMA) instantly make an impression. Whilst this is largely due to familiarity, it is arguably some of the strongest tracks from Disobedient and it surely showcases the band’s expertise in their area of expertise.
What is most surprising about Disobedient however is the huge focus towards melody, that is present consistently throughout the record. Stick To Your Guns have always been a band that combine both harsh and clean vocals but Disobedient showcases this combination absolutely brilliantly. The intricate riffs on The Crown lead to a chorus that explodes with melody whilst The War Inside focuses on an explosion of riffs which then flows into a melodic anthem through Jesse Barnett’s excellent vocal delivery. Perhaps the biggest surprise is the chilling yet beautiful track that draws Disobedient to a close, Left You Behind features some of Jesse Barnett’s strongest clean vocal delivery and the inclusion of orchestral elements makes it an instant hit. A rather entertaining aspect of Disobedient is the inclusion of several guest vocalists; H20‘s Toby Morse on RMA, Rotting Out‘s Walter Delgado on Nothing You Can Do To Me and Terror’s Scott Vogel on I choose No One. The inclusion of these guest vocalists adds a spice of new flavour to Stick To Your Gun’s sound and whilst they could be a little longer, it makes for a unique and entertaining listening experience to the tracks in question.
The entirety of Disobedient showcases the sheer musical talent of Stick To Your Guns. Frontman Jesse Barnett’s vocal delivery is nothing short of exceptional, the guitar work of Chris Rawson and Josh James drives a fusion of ferocity and melody, all whilst George Schmitz’ drumming and the bass tones of Andrew Rose keeps the rhythm pumping. This record showcases a band that have strived to perfect their sound in their 12 year career and have achieved just that. Disobedient is an absolutely fantastic record that showcases a band at their very best, Stick To Your Guns have created one of 2015’s best records and continue to dominate the modern hardcore scene.
Disobedient is out now via Sumerian Records