It’s hard not to be inspired by the success Long Island’s Stray From The Path have garnered in their 10+ year history. Refusing to do anything except stick to their (musical) guns), Stray From The Path don’t bow to trends or shoehorn overwrought technicality into their alternative hardcore. No, the band has continued to inject important political and era-specific diatribes into Internal Atomics, their new record that’s out today. In a world where boorish politicians and world “leaders” throw out completely debunked falsehoods and scare tactics that cause their citizens to fear those who might be different from them, Stray From The Path are here to make you think a little, too.
Make no mistake, Stray From The Path have always been a political act. Take “Second Death”, for instance. While it’s musically one of the most compelling tracks on the record, with a vicious breakdown that is tailor-made for the moshpit, it’s the lyrical subjects that tackle hypocritical and dangerous religious leaders that’s the real story here. Other tracks like “Beneath The Surface” tackle 2 stories of women named Mary and Grace, who are treated like trash because they’re on the low end of the totem pole when it comes to society – the working class that are often neglected simply because they’re not rich. While this and other tracks aren’t necessarily lyrical marvels, they do tell simple stories that encourage the listener to maybe, at least for once, not judge a book by their cover.
It’s all set to aggressive, hip-hop influenced hardcore that is Stray From The Path’s wheelhouse. Not really diverging from the norm isn’t a bad thing for Stray From The Path, though. But it’s the personal stories on here – like on the aforementioned “Beneath The Surface” and “Holding Cells For The Living Hell” – that are most interesting on all counts. Lyrically, the band has improved a bit, and the rhythm section is as tight as ever too. While there’s certainly a plethora of new music out today, Internal Atomics is a fairly impressive and succinct body of work that doesn’t overstay its welcome – it instead encourages you to think for yourself. And really, isn’t that what hardcore is all about? For Stray From The Path, their lighthouse still shines.