Stray From The Path are by no means new-comers to the hardcore scene. Anonymous being their seventh full length album, SFTP has shown those years of around-the-clock hard-work and dedication can pay off. Since their formation in 2001 this band has come on leaps and bounds. With the success of previous album Rising Sun, taking the New York 4-piece to huge heights of popularity, Anonymous certainly has a lot to live up to.
It doesn’t disappoint. Anonymous showcases the band’s destructive, in your face and downright furious style in an uncompromising fashion. From opening track ‘False Flag’ you get the instant impression Stray From The Path are pissed off about something, and their certainly not afraid to talk about it. Whether it is political-injustice, the state of the music industry or even social media, Andrew “Drew York” Dijorio has no problem making his voice heard, delivering each rowdy shout with a colossal amount of attitude.
In terms of the music, Anonymous is a clear progression from Rising Sun. It maintains the more riff oriented style found on Rising Sun but offers a clearer and more developed version of the sound. Rage Against The Machine clearly had an influence on Thomas William’s guitar style. The intro to ‘Badge & a Bullet’ in particular has a real Tom Morello feel to it and leads into an epic song, packed with some vicious riffs and a mammoth chorus – it’s also the first song which features Drew York’s trademark “BLEH!”. The way Dijorio spits and raps certain lyrics throughout this album, also adds to the RATM, Hip Hop vibe.
If I was forced to pick one duff track on this record, it would probably be ‘Counting Sheep’. Dijorio blurting out social media references like “post a pic, with a hashtag!” makes it hard to take seriously at times. Having said that, ‘Counting Sheep’ still stands up musically, even if the lyrics let it down at times. ‘Radio’ comes in at break-neck speed and has an awesome fist-pumping vibe to it. Jesse Barnett’s (Stick To Your Guns) guest vocals are by no means subtle and add even more confidence to this bone-snapping punk track. ‘Scissor Hands’ also features some more melodic but no less impressive vocals from letlive.’s Jason Aalon. Lyrically, the song ‘Blag Friday’ is admirable. It takes no prisoners and addresses the greed Dijorio sees in American culture (a theme that seems to crop up a lot in their songs). Penultimate track ‘Landmines’ is an unstoppable freight train of a song, which then heaves into the final track ‘Anonymous’, summing up the album commendably.
All in all, this record is a monumentally good listen. Anonymous displays Stray From The Path successfully defining their unique strain of hardcore music, and smashing their way closer to the forefront of their genre. If you’re looking for an album full of passion and pure un-relenting aggression then look no further. Anonymous boldly pushes the boundaries of hardcore and suggests a bright and encouraging future for these New Yorkers.
Track list - Anonymous:
01. False Flag
02. Badge And A Bullet
03. Radio (feat. Jesse Barnett)
04. Scissor Hands (Feat. Jason Aalon Butler)
05. Black Friday
06. Counting Sheep
07. Slice Of Life
08. Tell Them I’m Not Home
Written by Alfie Nobes