After releasing the incredible Disobedient last year it’s about time to get down with some new Stick To Your Guns material. One of Orange County’s finest have been streaming their new EP, Better Ash Than Dust, over on Rock Sound before its release this Friday.
Opening the EP is the title track a melodic explosion, if you can get such a thing. It is the perfect blend of heavy chugging and big open choruses with a calming bridge that is a little more on the tame side. This is the classic Stick To Your Guns formula and the EP quickly follows suit. Pounding, galloping riffs from Universal Language and The Never Ending Story punch themselves into your head. It’s hard to get the catchy riffs from getting your neck, arms and anything else moving thanks to the guitars and drums laying down the bouncing rhythms. The use of aggression and speed is the perfect condiment for the slower chord laden choruses. Be careful though No Tolerance lays slap bang in the middle. This pure two and a half minute adrenaline rush of punk like speed and one hell of breakdown is a homage to old school hardcore. There is very little tempo breaks for you to gain composure so brace yourself.
As always the vocals make the EP instantly recognisable and unique with Stick To Your Guns use of traditional hardcore style shouts and raw cleans. This mixture brings the thunder with the spats of aggression making way for the powerful choruses. Oh yeah that’s right get your fist in the air cause these choruses are chant worthy. The vocals play the biggest part in ending the album with The Suspend being driven nearly by vocals alone with melodic guitars and soft drums aid in their impact. A slightly lighter way to end the EP but it works at sending you away with the five songs resonating in your head.
Go buy the EP this Friday. It’s one of the most natural feeling releases I have ever heard. Better Ash Than Dust is thought provoking, mosh ready and all round blast. The band have once again impressed me earning a 9/10 with the only down side being it is only five songs long. I need more to sustain my melodic hardcore hit!