The unnerving squeal of ‘The New Gods’ kicks things into life with a jab to the shin and gob in the eye. As has become their habit, the band leave no issue unprobed and no stone unturned when it comes to their beliefs. From the unashamed damning of the health system on ‘Outbreak’ to the disgusted tirade on paedophile scumbags on ‘D.I.E.P.I.G.S’, Stray aim their gun with unmatched accuracy and don’t let their target escape. The anger and malice that they conjure outshines every single one of their peers and they don’t even seem to break a sweat.
With their blood hot and their fists clenched, similar angry types Sam Carter and Rou Reynolds stick their oars into the murky depths on the crushingly honest ‘First World Problem Child’ and devastatingly gritty ‘Eavesdropper’ respectively while ‘Shots Fired’ has the feel of a new world protest hymn. The Rage Against The Machine channeling on ‘Future Of Sound’ and breakneck punch of ‘Timebomb’ keep the gears turning before ‘These Things Have To Fall Apart’ sees things out with a painstaking groove and one last Doc Marten to the temple. What Stray has created is more than just a set of angry songs for the sake of being angry. They have put together a real platform for voices to be heard and opinions to shine through.
‘Subliminal Criminals’ is a statement of intent like no other. Oozing with delicious riffs, hard hitting bounce and battering spite, every song stands for something and doesn’t let you forget it. Forever streaks ahead of the terrified pack and speaking with an honesty many never manage to muster, Stray are the sort of band who offer a glimmer of hope that there is still a backbone in hardcore and that change is always possible no matter how unlikely.
‘Subliminal Criminals’ by Stray From The Path is out now on Sumerian Records.
Words by Jack Rogers (@JackMRog)