California has long been known for its contribution to the punk and hardcore genres. In 2003, at arguably the peak of the new millennium’s American metal-core bubble, Orange County spat out Stick to Your Guns. And though some of those early bands have since come and gone, StYG has endured and evolved, remaining relevant to the times while still paying homage to the forefathers that came before them.
In their latest release, the full length True View, we are exposed to a new side of the band we have not much experienced prior: that of vulnerability. In this album, we see the same ear-bleeding aggression and apocalyptic angst that fans have come to expect. Yet it is presented within a new context of necessary growth which sometimes only occurs through intense, personal anguish.
The album begins with a “3 Feet from Peace,” which intersperses among its thundering verses snippets of phone dialogue–a woman’s voice who admonishes, “You just figure it out your way. You just figure it out your own way. Because, in the end, no matter which way and direction this goes, you’re the only one who can do it … I have every bit of faith and confidence that you’re going to find your peace.”
According to frontman Jesse Barnett: “True View was inspired by innumerable conversations that I had with my mother during the hardest couple of years I’ve had in my life … I had just hit a point where I was forced to take inventory of who I was. Truly. Not the person I thought I was or the person I wanted to be, but the actual person I was.”
The album thenceforth explores the process of grief, anger, self-defeat, self-forgiveness, and finally personal redemption. The album’s closing track, “The Reach For Me/‘Forgiveness Of Self,’” is a slow, alternative rock ballad begging forgiveness of those caught in the crossfires of personal mistakes and selfish cruelties. It offers a promise of change for the better, a reminder that we have the capability to both burn bridges and create new bonds.
True View could be best summed up as a story of metamorphosis. It seems to say, that like the proverbial caterpillar, we often spend our youth building ourselves through consuming our environment. It is only from within the cocoon of introspection we can finally grow into something majestic, something able to leave our mistakes on the ground as we fly toward the sun.
You can also buy it online, along with other StYG memorabilia, via the band’s MerchNOW page.
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