Review Summary: While I don't agree with what you say, I'll defend to the death your right to scream it in my face
There’s two things everyone knows you don’t talk about in polite company, religion and politics. If you feel the need to take the dive into those shark infested waters and would like to not lose any friends you better keep a stockpile of “in my opinions”, “that’s just what I heard/reads”, and “well let’s see what happens’s” handy to qualify every statement you make. Similarly, people find their entertainers’ political views much more palatable the more nuanced they are presented and the more metaphors their real message is buried under (unless it’s punk music). Alternatively, you can go the route Stray From the Path takes and scream your views, spittle and all, into your listeners’ faces. These days that route is only really taken via anonymous internet posts which is honestly why Only Death Is Real’s
presentation feels a tad refreshing. No strangers to voicing their opinions on the societal state of America, Only Death Is Real
is probably the band’s most blunt soapbox diatribe yet. Gone are the days of throwing shade at Attack Attack for being trite scene garbage, Only Death Is Real
sets its sights squarely on every hot button topic America has come across in the past 2 years and does so with all the delicacy and grace of a car crash.
Regardless of the subject matter, Only Death Is Real
is the most consistently savage the band has ever sounded. Consistent, however, is the operative word as Stray From the Path has never been one to traverse any new grounds musically. The chemistry between Drew York’s hip-hop influenced vocals and his cohorts crushing instrumentals continue to fire on well-worn pistons and are just as catchy as they’ve been the last 3 albums. The addition of guest vocalists, in particular Jedi Mind Tricks’ Vinnie “You Don’t Want to Sell Me Deathsticks” Paz makes for the smallest of wrinkles that invoke a small, but pleasant, flash of interest upon initial listens. Stray From the Path bills itself as a band “on a mission to bring honest, pissed-off music to the world” but in Only Death Is Real
, “honest” frequently equates to “amateurish”. This candid presentation will be the main fuel for discussion for Only Death Is Real
, and rightfully so. And while as a proud brain-washed zombie of the American establishment, I personally love the country Drew York is ranting against (as I’m sure he does too),Only Death Is Real
is nothing more than Stray From the Path doing Stray From the Path things, Drew York is pissed off and has a message for us, the riffs are crunchy and unyielding, and when the dust settles you and every person calling the band “liberal sheep” will probably forget about this album in a couple weeks.