For Fans Of
In today’s musical climate, it is easy to get bogged down in specifics and constant pursuits to find fault in any artistic endeavour. Stick to Your Guns’ simplistic yet confident approach is a blueprint you get the feeling might start to catch on. The ability not to over-complicate things sees the band deliver an album, which has an obvious appeal.
The Stick to Your Guns sound has a certain intensity that is always going to attract the staunch hardcore kid. However, the textured and contrasting approach, which sees the band introduce controlled doses of melody, makes the Orange County quintet more accessible than your average straight-laced ‘core’ band.
Third studio album ‘The Hope Division’ on face value ranks highly within the Stick to Your Guns catalogue. The juxtaposition of a brutal, pit inducing tenacity and the cleaner sung sections come off as sincere and not derivative. Too often we see bands over compensate, inevitably alienating one section of fans. The beauty here is that the heavy parts and the softer parts are equally balanced, not detracting from one another. The breakdowns and mosh parts are evident, so too are the catchy choruses.
Faster songs like, ‘Faith in the Untamed’ channels Remembering Never while ‘Amber’ and ‘Where the Sun Never Sleeps’ highlight the hooks Stick to Your Guns has. Contrastively, ‘What Goes Around’ is a brief affair that contains probably one of the more memorable breakdowns floating around – which could double as a house trashing anthem. There are some stale moments in the middle but nothing overly disheartening.
There will probably be debates about the legitimacy of this sound in regards to previous offerings but the direction nevertheless seems well planned. Various line-up changes have done nothing to cripple the band and you have to appreciate a tone that focuses on the positive rather than an overt bitterness.
The band’s name might just be the most indicative thing to come out of this. Stick to Your Guns in a musical sense does just what its name suggests. That is, stay true to a formula that fits the dynamic of the group and on ‘The Hope Division’ it pays clear dividends.
‘The Hope Division’ contains an infectious quality. The band’s obvious work ethic is symbolised in the music, with album number three as strong as it is consistent.
1. Where the Sun Never Sleeps
2. What Goes Around
3. Faith in the Untamed
5. Wolves at the Door
6. Some Kind of Hope
9. Life Through Wester Eyes
11. No Cover
12. Sufferer/La Poderosa