Stray From The Path are back with more politically charged social commentary calling out systemic injustices and corruption. Subliminal Criminals hits you with melodic guitars and a deep seething anger beyond outrage on almost every track. The album is catchy but the fury against government crimes and societal ills will leave you simmering with rage. The entire record is a call to arms to save our future from an Orwellian dystopia and to protect ourselves in the present.
“These Things Have To Fall Apart” is the final song on the album and an ominous declaration of what must happen to fix the system. “It’s only a lie if you believe,” whispers vocalist Drew York as the song concludes. It is an eerie way to end a record so hateful, vengeful, and ferocious. It’s as if Stray From The Path have worn themselves out trying to motivate us to speak up.
The band delve into corporate greed putting profit over life and humanity. “Cancer causing capital/The people turned to animals/The poison is the antidote,” yells York on “Outbreak,” a judgment on Big Pharma and the blood on its hands. However, the strongest emotion comes through in “D.I.E.P.I.G.” Nothing makes Stray From The Path angrier than preying on the weak or defenseless. The track is as close to a death threat as you can legally get. It’s about a specific case, but it applies to all child abusers. “Take him out to the slaughter house, it’s time for you to D.I.E.”
The majority of the anger is directed at the government and its inability to act in our interest and keep us safe, all the while supporting its own agenda and greed. “Badge & A Bullet Part II,” “Shots Fired,” and “Eavesdropper,” each rip at a different injustice left unresolved: police brutality, dishonest wars, cover ups, and invasion of privacy–all of which are supposedly for our own safety.
Subliminal Criminals can be overbearing at times, but the unabridged wrath is aimed toward positive results. Stray From The Path, although retaliatory, fierce, and violent, are hopeful for solutions to the systemic problems they touch on. It is still definitely a fight record. It has much to say, and one listen isn’t enough, but it’s hard to play on repeat unless you’re trying to anger yourself. If Big Brother doesn’t get them first, it’s safe to expect more social commentary hardcore music from them. Stray From The Path won’t go down without a fight. York promises, “Let my last words be: ‘Free speech is dead.’”
By David Marulanda