As society has progressed and advances in technology have become more rampant, the common view of humanity has become much more clouded. With the instant gratification and always on aspect that the world now provides to the vast majority of the population, the bubble that envelops every person has become much bigger and more consuming. It doesn’t take much to truly see this as a large swathe of the world’s population doesn’t appear to have much interest in anything until it may directly affect them. It also stems from the top down as government and corporations have been feeding into this personality slowly for decades. This has caused many people to lose the true understanding of what humanity is all about, what we can do for each other and most importantly, practicing what you preach. The latter is front and center on Orange County’s Stick To Your Guns new album, True View, which in true to themselves fashion maintains an impeccable balance of heavy musicality with soaring melodies and a message that absolutely needs to be heard.
Prior to the announcement of their new album, Stick To Your Guns took an interesting approach as they slowly unveiled the lyrics to all 13 tracks that make up the album, along with individual pieces of artwork for each song. This was done with the intent of hoping to have people connect with the songs on a different level before hearing any actual music and after hearing the singles and then the full album, it’s apparent this was a success. By approaching the unveiling of the album in a different way, it also gave fans an insight into what eventually became known as True View would be all about; that is, a record that was meant to spread a message of being true to yourself while understanding that not everything is as open, honest and clear as it should be. When the album was finally announced, this expectation became reality as the band indicated they were at a point where their music was a better person than they were and with True View, they set out to change that. The end result is the creation of their purist album yet – it’s heavy, aggressive and honest and is the truest representation of what Stick To Your Guns are all about musically and lyrically.
While the vast majority of the talk in regards to True View thus far has been surrounding the concept of it as well as the lyrical content that drives it, the sound brought forth is just as important. Once again, Stick To Your Guns absolutely rip when it comes the sound department as they seamlessly blend raw emotion with honest aggression, letting the music do the talking. There are some new approaches that are brought forth this go around, starting with the inclusion of bits and pieces of conversations that vocalist Jesse Barnett has had with his mother. This is how the album opens as “3 Feet from Peace” builds into a blistering breakdown with Barnett declaring “I made a promise to myself that I intend to keep”, once again putting the concept behind the album front and center. As the album progresses, different sides of Stick To Your Guns show their face that will feel unexpected from their devoted fanbase. There’s the inclusion of moments more in line with alternative rock as found on “56” and “The Reach For Me” that may throw some off while the first half of the album tends to be rather reliant on sung choruses, giving off a higher level of sing-ability if you will, but one that also allows for a newer audience to be drawn in. For those hoping for a return to form, that takes full shape on the latter half of the album as the percussion slams, the guitars sear and the vocals roar throughout, intermixed with some of the more “punk-style” choruses Jesse has become known for.
If you take a hard look at what True View is, you’ll realize that this is an album that isn’t as much about development from a musical perspective and instead, it’s more about personal growth. It leads credence to the idea that people need to be able to truly stop and take a true, hard look in the mirror at yourself and being able to accept your actions. It’s also more than that as it sheds light on the reality that this has slowly been engrained in humanity over the past decades and that we’re the only ones who can change it. This honesty has always been a staple of Stick To Your Guns discography, but thanks to the dynamic in play between the lyrical content with emotional, yet aggressive instrumentation, it’s presented in a much more unique way and results in what can perhaps be considered their best album to date.