Review: “Better Dust Than Ash” EP by Stick To Your Guns

In 2016, a year after the band put out “Disobedient”, the decision to put out an EP at this stage of Orange County, California hardcore punk crew¬†Stick To Your Guns career rather than a full length seems an odd one. The bands sound has evolved to suit the album format and this was showcased with 2015’s “Disobedient” in particular. “Better Ash Than Dust” picks up where the heavier material on “Disobedient” left off. Straight up metallic edged hardcore with the odd clean chorus or gang chant thrown in, the band bolstered by adding guitarist Josh James (ex-Evergreen Terrace, also in Eighteen Visions) and having something of a new lease of life. That is for the first four of the five tracks here. Breakdowns, powerful unclean verses with melodic clean choruses from frontman Jesse Barnett across three of those four with a burst of hardcore punk speed on “No Tolerance” and all unclean vocals. All solid, all mosh worthy and full of the staple Stick To Your Guns lyrical themes. Closer “The Suspend” is really the hidden gem of the EP, a longer along with a slow build before bursting into flames. Overall a faultless effort, just lacking another five songs so it could be an album! “Better Dust Than Ash” is out now via Pure Noise Records. [8/10]

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