The spirit of positive defiance permeates Disobedient, the new album from Orange County melodic hardcore act Stick To Your Guns.
The presence of OLOC founder and H2O frontman Toby Morse on the album’s frantic track RMA (Revolutionary Mental Attitude) can be seen as a passing of the torch, a symbol that the old guard is ready for frontman Jesse Barnett to assume the mantle of “voice of the positive hardcore scene”.
But as Barnett roars “You can’t fight back, if you won’t stand up, being positive is no longer enough” with Morse by his side, he seems determined to turn that torch into a flame-thrower.
It Starts With Me is a rousing opener. A sample of speech about humanity’s responsibility to end the suffering of others mixes with gang vocals chanting the song’s title. It’s a natural transition into the hardcore stompfest of What Choice Did You Give Us?.
Revolutionary intentions are also evident in lead single Nobody, a blistering metalcore anthem with a soaring chorus that mirrors its life-affirming lyrical narrative.
While George Schmitz’s drums still gallop in unison with Andrew Rose’s basslines, and the dual guitars of Chris Rawson and Josh James still create a wall of distorted sound, they’re now tempered with an assured sense of songcraft and a concentrated lyrical message. Disobedient is a better album for it.
John Feldmann’s expert production ensures every note is given the reverence it deserves. Barnett’s improved performance is particularly noticeable, whether roaring defiance on The War Inside or crooning about self-empowerment on album highlight Left You Behind.
Disobedient is the sound of a band and a scene finding its voice, a voice that not only questions society, and often sings loudly about its failings, but calls others to right those wrongs through action. PMA is passe. Long live RMA.
‘Disobedient’ is out now via Sumerian Records. Stick To Your Guns tour Australia in April with Architects.
Review: Stick To Your Guns – RMA (Revolutionary Mental Attitude) Feat. Toby Morse