PAPA ROACH with The Ugly Kings 170 Russell, Melbourne 21st January, 2018 Promoting their latest …
Stray From The Path have never been ones for subtlety. Take D.I.E.P.I.G from Subliminal Criminals for example. So for Only Death Is Real, The Opening Move is a strong intro, kicking in the door with a crisp high hat and the album’s mission statement: “Don’t hate the player: hate the game.”
Stray do love resorting to ‘buzzword’ phrases that even for the most left leaning of listeners feel a bit on the nose (“money makes the world go round/money makes the world burn down” ugh). That being said, “You just got knocked the fuck out” from blazing first single Goodnight Alt-Right is pure adrenaline riding on a bouncy riff. They’ve always been incendiary so maybe it’s because we’re bombarded constantly with anti-corporate/anti-fascist messages why this almost feels quaint. During Strange Fiction Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die) makes an awkward appearance which is a bizarre sentence to write. His southern yelps and “woah-ohs” don’t mesh as well as Drew York’s east coast punches do. Ditto for Knocked Loose’s Bryan Garris: the breakdown is a bit too light for his high pitched wail.
During Strange Fiction Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die) makes an awkward appearance which is a bizarre sentence to write.
Stray know how to make a point without shoving it straight in the face though as They Always Take The Guru’s cymbal crashes pepper out like gunshots. The breakdowns aren’t always up to the standard as some of the band’s back catalogue but The House Always Wins (with an excellent Vinnie Paz of Jedi Mind Tricks feature) explodes like an atom bomb. Also the Southern inspired Afro-American march at the end of Only Death Is Real? Where was THAT experimentation during the rest of this record? The shot they took at the system doesn’t miss, but the punch hasn’t connected as well as it could have.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Goodnight Alt-Right, The House Always Wins, Plead The Fifth
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Stick To Your Guns, Void of Vision, Rage Against The Machine