STICK TO YOUR GUNS latest EP, Better Ash Than Dust, sees the band take a more metallic approach to their anthemic hardcore sound.
First two tracks Better Ash Than Dust and Universal Language takes the more riff-heavy moments on last album Disobedient to a logical extreme while last track The Suspend once again sees them experimenting with song structures and dynamic builds. It’s a strong collection of songs that further solidifies the bands creative reputation.
Once again, singer Jesse Barnett is a predictable highlight of this work. Although only 16 minutes long there is barely a moment not enlivened by his obvious passion and energy. Furthermore Jesse’s technical vocal performance in and of itself is superb; especially on closing track The Suspend, lending the track an element of emotional catharsis. It’s a powerful performance and one that this EP would be much the worse without.
Weighing in at a very concise 16 minutes there is clearly no room for filler on Better Ash Than Dust. All five songs contained on this release are strong exhibitions of STICK TO YOUR GUNS song-writing nouse. That is not to say it is not without its issues. While a strong selection of songs there are no real standout moments. Any of these songs would fit in well into a STICK TO YOUR GUNS album but none of them would be a highlight. Then there’s the lack of a theme that helps the EP to hang together. A short running time contributes somewhat to this as the EP seemingly bounces from the riff-heavy aggressive opening to a more emotive closing few minutes. Better Ash Than Dust just can’t quite decide what it wants to be. Does it want to be 16 minutes of raging metallica hardcore? Or does it want to do something softer and more emotive? While not normally a problem with longer works the shorter running time does mean that Better Ash Than Dust can often feel somewhat claustrophobic.
Better Ash Than Dust is out now via Pure Noise Records.
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