“Disobedient” by Stick To Your Guns, An Album Review

Though the album doesn’t officially drop until tomorrow, Disobedient from Stick To Your Guns was streamed prior to full release last week and is available for this review thanks in part to the YouTube playlist above. Since I’m completely unfamiliar with the band, this should turn out to be a particularly interesting review.

Disobedient opens with a song titled “It Starts With Me”. This first track opens with a rapid and loud guitar riff that ventures into some higher notes as the vocals cut into the song, strong and stark against the backing guitar. The song blends together the stronger vocals with more melodic vocals as the backing music becomes more varied, before slowly going to a quiet piano melody and a cut from an interview with J. Krishnamurti. The second track on the album, “What Choice Did You Give Us?”, picks up as if the quiet ending to “It Starts With Me” had never happened. It’s harder and faster throughout it’s length, and somehow perfectly compliments the quiet ending of the preceding track with it’s theme and message. The third track, entitled “Nobody”, explodes with a variety of instruments at first and keeps the hard and heavy feeling established by the first two tracks, but has a stronger melody basis that can be picked out with ease. It ends suddenly, as if it was just suddenly cut off, and the effect suits the overall song quiet well. “RMA (Revolutionary Mental Attitude)”, which features Toby Morse, is the fourth track on Disobedient. It starts with a voice that’s been manipulated and distorted to the point where it gives and eerie feeling when you hear it. Then, the track explodes into the main part of the song, a mix of heavy guitars and strong vocals. The two alternate for the most part, making each feel stark against the song. It’s a short song, but it certainly grabs the attention.

“Nothing You Can Do to Me”, which features Walter Delgado and ranks in the fifth spot on the track list, starts off hard and fast, and manages to keep that same pace and strength as the vocals join in with the mix of instruments. As the song continues, it mixes in softer vocals and moments where the vocals are stark against a backdrop of silence. it’s a very interesting song to listen to. The sixth song on the album, “To Whom It May Concern”, starts out a little softer that “Nothing You Can Do To Me” did, and has a stronger melody basis as the vocals cut in. The vocals are incredibly harsh against the quieter music, and a variety of effects are mixed into the song, making it seem like the vocals are further away than the music all while keeping the same stark strength over the instrumental parts of the song. “The Crown”, which is the seventh song on the album, is overall more melodic at the start than any other track on the album to this point. It’s certainly a surprising difference and it manages to catch the attention with ease. It builds quite suddenly to the harsher styles of the previous tracks, but it drops back down into the energetic track that it started out as. The eighth track on the album is “I Choose No One”, which features Scott Vogel. This song starts off with a distant and slightly dissonant guitar as an excerpt from Charlie Chaplin’s speech in The Great Dictator is placed over top it. The guitar gets stronger, and plays in bursts, complimenting the ending portion of the chosen excerpt. The vocals are strong and harsh when they enter the song. Overall the song leads to an area where both guitar and vocals are stark against a quiet backdrop before going quiet completely, and making the transition to the next song barely noticeable.

Track number nine is the titular “Disobedient”. It starts off with a quiet build that can easily be missed if you’re not paying close attention. It does get louder as it continues, and another quote from J. Krishnamurti is sliced over top of the quiet build of the short track. “The War Inside” starts off a lot harder than the quiet build of “Disobedient”, with the vocals present from the very beginning. A balance of more melodic moments and the hard and fast moments is built in the song, blending the two extremes of the album quite nicely. “Left You Behind” is the end of the regular CD and the eleventh song on the album. It starts off far more melodic than “The War Inside”, making it more similar to “The Crown” in it’s execution at the very beginning. It has a sad feeling to it, and it does start to build early on, though it takes a minute for the lyrics to take on the harsher styling that are present on the other songs. For the most part it seems to stick to the more melodic style, and it seems to focus on making the emotion of the song more tangible. “Every Second” is the twelfth song, available through the deluxe version of the CD. It starts off with an electronic hum that quickly builds into a cacophony of guitar riffs and harsh vocals. The song builds quickly, and has a rapid pace that is rather impressive when you listen to the way the vocals flow easily. The song does slow down after a minute, but that same energy is still evident despite being noticeably less than it was. The deluxe version of the album then wraps up with acoustic versions of “The Crown” and “Nothing You Can Do to Me”.

All in all, this was a very interesting and rather thought provoking album. I definitely hope that you give it a listen because even if the predilection to a harsher sound isn’t your thing, there’s definitely something waiting on one of the tracks for you.

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