RATING: 9/10


The career for Stray From The Path has been a bumpy one. From label changes to line-up changes, the band has never stayed the same for too long without something coming to shake things up. ‘Internal Atomics‘ itself is a record coming from a new change in their career together, as it’s the band debut on UNFD, after releasing a handful of records through Sumerian Records. The journey has been crazy, and the band are showing no signs of slowing down or halting their action – in fact, it sounds like they’re getting louder, harder, and refusing to stop for anyone or anything.

From the record’s leading single, ‘Fortune Teller’, it shows that the band are still dedicated to that old-school hardcore attitude. Kicking off with a killer guitar riff, the music works alongside the themes of life and the future, choked out through hoarse vocals. Emotional and frustrated. It serves as one of the catchier tracks from the record, and is a favourite among casual listeners and long-term fans. Perhaps releasing it as the first single – the first taste of what ‘Internal Atomics‘ was about to give to the masses – was the best idea from the band. Not to discredit the other single releases, but ‘Fortune Teller’ was the ideal choice.

“louder, harder, and refusing to stop for anyone or anything.”

‘Kickback’ is another notable track, as it builds an anarchic atmosphere, with the strangled vocals and the storms of guitar and drums in the background. Found earlier in the record, it jumps in with no hesitation to the hardcore sound that stays throughout and is the earliest indication that they won’t be going quiet anytime soon within the ten-track epic. The creation of this sense of anarchy is nothing new in the alternative music world, as it’s always been in the background of punk and hardcore communities.

Being diverted from expectations and safety was always on trend for the hardcore genre, and it seems that bands from the past have been what fuelled the fire that Stray From The Path lit within ‘Internal Atomics’. Hints of old-school bands such as Rage Against The Machine can be easily heard within the music, and it’s not even a carbon copy of what they once produced – it’s personalised work, written from the heart and felt within the soul.

“‘Internal Atomics‘ is a record for the ages: yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow.”

Some tracks within the record give the listener a sense of uncertainty and fear – a safe feeling of lacking safety – and this is incredibly evident within ‘Holding Cells For The Living Hell’. Busy, loud, distracting, but possibly what the alternative crowd need right now. It feels necessary for the way of the world in recent times, and can be therapeutic listening. Exciting and bold for the right crowd, and terrifying and disturbing for the wrong one. So it’s up for all listeners to decide on if this style is what they need in their lives right now.

Stray From The Path are bringing a nostalgic sound to the present-day hardcore scene, and they’re not the only ones recycling this style and reviving it for another year or two or even another decade. This is what keeps music interesting, intriguing, and stops it from going stale or growing tired. ‘Internal Atomics‘ is a record for the ages: yesterday, today, and most likely tomorrow.




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