Influential hardcore band Stick to Your Guns are back with a brand-new album called ‘Spectre’. Delivering twelve new and convincing arguments that once again establish their relevance in the hardcore scene. It will be released on July 29th, 2022 via End Hits Records.
Combining the fire and ferociousness of classic hardcore with a contemporary approach to song-writing, Spectre is a fascinating listen, an album that is both smart and intense. The hardcore stomp and groove, infectious but with some really shrewd shifts and impactful lyrical content.
A short intro (My Heart Is A…) leads to the first example of Stick to Your Guns’ innate ability to make you move. The spitting fury balanced by a huge sounding chorus that has a melodic ring to it. Followed then by the sharp and scathing powerhouse track that is Who Dares. A glorious example of the intensity that Stick to Your Guns do so well. If you’re not feeling in a stompy mood after hearing the breakdown in the latter part of the track, you’re not paying enough attention.
The hardcore savagery is constant as Stick to Your Guns spit even more fire with the nasty sound of Hush. Before they deliver one of the albums most anthemic tracks, A World to Win. One of the best tracks on the entire album, it’s such a chant-along.
Ready for a surprise? The halfway point of this album features a tempo shift that can simply be called delightful. Open Up My Head’s slower pace doesn’t change the passion Stick to Your Guns have but it’s much more melodic and there is sudden and unexpected use of synth. A surprise, but a welcome one, as it’s so very memorable.
It’s back to speed as Liberate creates some carnage, The Shine is extraordinarily explosive and Instruments of the End has Stick to Your Guns roaring with excessive aggression. Each as chunky and hard-wearing as the other, but each a thrill ride of hardcore energy.
So enjoyable is Spectre, that you won’t want it to end, but end it must. First, Father delivers a dazzlingly melodic example of modern hardcore. Then, More of Us Than Them brings a tempo change, a darker tone, and some sizable hardcore hits. Before this remarkable album closes out with No Way to Live. The most unexpected finale possible as it’s a heartfelt, mellow, and emotional. It’s downright beautiful and, thanks to the amount of ferocity that exits elsewhere on the album, it feels more than earned.
Spectre is one of the best albums you’ll hear this year. Not just in the modern hardcore department either. Stick to Your Guns have really put the effort in to make something that sounds forward-thinking while paying tribute to the hardcore days of old. It’s an incredibly well-done balancing act and few bands could do it as well as Stick to Your Guns have here.
Stick to Your Guns – Spectre Full Track Listing:
1. (My Heart Is A…)
3. Who Dares
5. A World to Win
6. Open Up My Head
8. The Shine
9. Instruments of the End
11. More of Us Than Them
12. No Way to Live
Stick To Your Guns - Spectre (End Hits Records)
The Final Score - 9.5/10