Taylor Hoysradt, Copy Editor
Disobedience has been a part of the American psyche since this country’s origin. Rebellion lives deep in the hearts of all of us during times of oppression and confusion.
For their fifth full-length album Disobedient, Orange County hardcore outfit Stick To Your Guns channel their inner rebel to deliver a brutal, polished and exceptional collection of hardcore anthems.
The album’s opener, “It Starts With Me,” is a pulsing crescendo ending with vocalist Jesse Barnett challenging listeners that in order to make a change in this world it starts with you. Disobedient is littered with the straightforward, in your face hardcore sound found on previous Stick To Your Guns albums with the highlight being “What Choice Did You Give Us?” This track is an absolute banger bursting with chugging guitars, fat bass lines, pounding drum beats and enough politically-tinged lyrics to cause a full-scale riot. Other hard-hitting tracks include the sludgy moshfest “I Choose No One,” the blazing assault of “Revolutionary Mental Attitude” and the razor sharp rager “The War Inside.” Stick To Your Guns have always stuck to their no bullshit hardcore roots to some extent and these tracks will get anyone’s blood flowing.
While there is plenty of heavy to be heard on Disobedient, it is during more melodic moments where the band begins to hone their most efficient sound. Since their last album, Diamond, Barnett has been implementing more clean vocals into his writing. At first this was met with skepticism, but he has now brought his singing full-circle, and there is no better example than Disobedient’s lead single “Nobody.” With a soaring chorus and a message that encourages anyone who has ever been called a nobody to be comfortable in their own skin, “Nobody” is one of the most memorable and important songs in Stick To Your Guns’ repertoire.
The shining moment of Disobedient however, is “The Crown.” This song almost exclusively features clean vocals, which are sung with so much passion and soul that you can’t help but sing along. The album ends with Stick To Your Guns venturing into new territory with “Left You Behind,” an incredibly somber tale of a young man who leaves his home and his family behind in order to find himself.
Many hardcore fans will accuse Stick To Your Guns of “going soft” due to the subject matter of the songs, but what this band does so well is relate to their fan base by writing songs that mean something to them and have an impact on them. If that’s what “going soft” is, it should not be a bad thing.
Another interesting niche of Disobedient is the use of Mahatma Gandhi sound bites within the songs. Gandhi is perhaps the most influential speaker in history, and Stick To Your Guns manage to seamlessly weave his powerful and inspiring teachings into their music. If you are looking for an album that will reach you on a personal level, do not hesitate to pick up Disobedient.
Key Tracks: “The Crown,” “I Choose No One,” “Nobody”