Stick To Your Guns
Since emerging in 2003, Southern California’s Stick To Your Guns—Jesse Barnett [vocals], Andrew Rose [bass], George Schmitz [drums], Chris Rawson [guitar], and Josh James [guitar]—have merged socially conscious and outspoken lyricism with hardcore energy and hammering metallic force. They took a bold step in a new direction on their sixth full-length album, True View [Pure Noise Records] by expanding their grasp of melody, amplifying the haunting clean vocals, and incorporating actual phone conversations to thread together a narrative of self-realization.
It was only a matter of time before they got this personal. Through countless shows and a steady stream of music, the band attracted a devout fan base. Among many accolades, Diamond would bow at #1 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Chart in 2012 as 2015’s Disobedient went Top 100 on the Billboard Top 200. The 2016 EP, Better Ash Than Dust, repeated the #2 debut on the Hard Rock Albums Chart and earned acclaim from Alternative Press, Revolver Magazine, New Noise Magazine. Moreover, 2017 saw Stick To Your Guns make history, becoming “the first American hardcore band to play East Africa” in Nairobi, Kenya.
Along the way, Stick To Your Guns toured across the globe with everyone from Every Time I Die and The Amity Affliction to BlessTheFall and Being As An Ocean in addition to multiple stints on the Vans Warped Tour. True View once again brought them around the world in 2017.
New Fairfield, Connecticut-based metal quintet Emmure specialize in an emotionally brutal blend of blistering hardcore and punishing thrash that has drawn favorable comparisons to acts like the Acacia Strain and From a Second Story Window. The group, consisting of singer Frank Palmeri, drummer Joe Lionetti, guitar players Ben Lionetti and Jesse Ketive, and bassist Mark Davis, released its debut, Goodbye to the Gallows, on Victory Records in 2007. By the next spring, Emmure followed up with The Respect Issue and hit the road supporting the likes of Misery Signals as well as on their own headlining tour with Endwell and others. A family emergency in 2009 forced the Lionetti brothers to leave the band, and guitarist Mike Mulholland and drummer Mike Kaabe (Warfix, Hulk Blood, Endwell) were recruited to replace them.
The new lineup offered the album Felony that fall. Emmure hit the road hard in 2010, headlining Attack Attack's This Is a Family Tour, and playing traveling music festivals including Warped Tour, Reckless, and Relentless, and Never Say Die!. The following February, they released fourth album, Speaker of the Dead, and had another busy season on the concert circuit, playing The Mosh Lives and All Stars tours, as well as reprising their slot on the Never Say Die! Tour. That October, Kaabe left the band, making way for Mark Castillo (Crossfade) to take his place at the drum kit (Castillo himself would vacate in 2014, replaced by Adam Pierce). Emmure began 2012 in the studio, yielding Slave to the Game, which arrived that April. Two years later, the band released what would be their final album in that incarnation, 2014's Eternal Enemies. 2016 saw the band land a deal with SharpTone Records, who issued their seventh studio long-player, Look at Yourself, the following year.
~ James Christopher Monger & Chrysta Cherrie