Before really going into Stray From The Path’s new album in any form of depth it’s necessary just to simply say the Long Island alternative hardcore band have hit this album right out of the fucking park! Not only a social mount piece. Subliminal Criminals is an absolutely killer album, filled to the brim with heavy hitting vocals, thought provoking lyrics and mind blowing music.
Subliminal Criminals is the band’s 7th full album release, and is quite honestly the best set of tracks the band has ever made. There is no turning away from the band’s outspoken political narrative throughout every single track, be it the racial injustice being pointed out more and more in the US, or the American government’s need to listen and watch people’s lives. Stray From The Path aren’t shy to look at the hard truths in their own country, and quite honestly you will not find a single “happy” track throughout. Each individual song has its own political slant, but that is the voice that the band has created over the years.
This album isn’t just the long list of political complexities in America; Subliminal Criminals is also about creating incredible hardcore music. This has been done with the help of a few select guest vocalists along the way. ‘First World Problem Child’ is a heavy and destructive track with powerful vocals, and an ever dominant and fast paced drum beat. Sam Carter lends his voice to the track, but is certainly not intrusive on what is a stellar track, and instead compliments it fantastically. That is certainly something to be said for all the tracks including guest vocalists. ‘Eavesdropper’ which features the also fervent social activist Rou Reynolds is fantastic for the passion that Rou shows throughout. ‘Future of Sound’ is a slightly different direction for the album, but is a welcomed break from the all out assault the album portrays up to its point.
Subliminal Criminals is a mixture of politically tuned hardcore music and incredible passion. It’s these two characteristics of Stray From The Path that create what is one of the best hardcore albums of the year so far, and it will take a lot to pass them to the top of that pile. Music can be something distinctly different depending on who is creating it, some see it as a way to become famous, others see it as an emotional outlet, and then there are those who truly try and get a message out through their music. It is the passion you find from that message which makes Subliminal Criminals shine.