Music Review – Stray From the Path’s Only Death is Real

strayfromthepathonlydeath

Say what you will about the current political situation, it does make for some damn fine music.

Stray From the Path’s Only Death is Real is a relentless attack against the present U.S. administration, and its supporters, from start to finish. SFTP have made brutal, confrontational political music before, but not to this degree.

Only Death wastes no time in engaging the listener and demanding them to pick a side. “You with us or the enemy?” in ‘The Opening Move’. This polarisation is characteristic of the album as a whole. Every song shoves SFTP’s political views down your throat, leaving you no room to breathe. It sounds great if you agree with them. If you don’t… Well, you probably won’t listen to this album for long.

Musically, SFTP have not changed much. Rage Against the Machine influenced riffs, punishing breakdowns that make you yearn for a moshpit, vocals that are more rapped than sung. The first couple of songs on Only Death sound very exciting. But then they tend to bleed into each other. The only standout tracks are ‘Goodnight Alt-Right’, ‘The House Always Wins’ and ‘Only Death is Real’.

There are some gems in the long-running stream of vitriol though. The opening of ‘Let’s Make a Deal’ for one: “Everything has its price, but the price is wrong bitch.” SFTP do have a knack for creating killer opening lines. Lines that you can’t help but belt out as loud as you can wherever you are, whatever you’re doing. I also love the breakdown in ‘Plead the Fifth’, with the lyrics “Welcome to the melting pot motherfucker. If you don’t like it, then get the fuck out.” And, of course, Keith Buckley kills it in ‘Strange Fiction’.

Only Death is a good album overall. However, it doesn’t have the same replay value as SFTP’s previous couple of albums. It’s too specifically political and has too little innovation.

Rating: 7/10

Recommended for fans of Rage Against the Machine, Hatebreed, Stick To Your Guns etc.

Every Time I Die’s new video for ‘Map Change’

A couple of days ago Every Time I Die, one of my favourite bands ever, released a new video for their song ‘Map Change’. They described it as a “love letter” to their hometown, Buffalo. ETID tend to make either very random or party-heavy videos, so I was not sure what to expect.

It is a breathtakingly beautiful video. Bleak and brutally honest, but beautiful. I’m not exaggerating when I say that it brought tears to my eyes. It’s extraordinary how, despite the very specific setting and inspiration for the song, relatable this is.

I’ll just add this to my mental list of why ETID are so great.

Lyrics:
Am I the only one that saw the sun burn out? The locusts keep their rhythm. My watch has broken down. I wake up and take on water, sink to the peak of despair. What I need is a cigarette. No more prayers. The planets unaligned. We have saints without a shrine. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. Further down still the dark’s absolute. Further down than that its only me and you. I assure you that hell is not a myth. We both vacation there. Hell is not a myth. We spend each winter there. No one can prepare. A storm comes and the city’s abandoned. The ship is going down with the captain. I am the man that sank Atlantis. The bottom is not the lowest we get. I thought I knew the best part of the secret: the truth is the thing we forget. The glory I had witnessed was just a sleight of hand. These hearts cannot be salvaged, these bones cannot withstand. I have either been forgotten or I was never seen. Now I’m in the negative space between. I weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it. I’ve weighed down the earth, through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. Not sure I can take it. I’ve fallen out of frame. A strangled, distant flame. Clenched in the jaws of anguish are only godless men. Chaos is drawn to silence like life is drawn to death. The dusk is so much clearer than the dawn had ever been. I’m a ghost, and yet I’ve weighed down the earth. Through the stars to the pavement. I’ve weighed down the earth. No use trying to save it.

If you liked/loved this too, be sure to check out the other work of the director, Kyle Trash. It’s more great, beautiful stuff. I especially liked the video he did for Four Year Strong.