The Story So Far/Stick To Your Guns

Split EP

You get quite the sonic Captain’s Sampler platter within the space of just four tracks on the new split EP from the Story So Far and Stick To Your Guns, with each band contributing a new song and a cover to the EP. And while some may cringe at the suggestion of pairing TSSF’s textbook pop-punk with STYG’s chest-pounding hardcore, the result is a nicely balanced collection that satisfies both the weeper and knuckle-dragger in us all.

The split opens with TSSF’s sparse, acoustic original “Clairvoyant,” a shimmering, finger-picked prophecy of forthcoming relationship doom. Sad but airy, the song rolls by like a wisp, shifting into a melancholic coda suited for a vintage Dashboard Confessional album, complete with the T-shirt-worthy line: “Don’t paint me black when I used to be golden.” From there the band kick into a swirling, electrified alt-rock churn with their cover of Pinback’s “Loro,” led by the punchy rumble of Kelen Capener’s bass. Points are awarded to TSSF for choosing a somewhat unexpected influence, plus bonus points for knocking said cover out of the park.

Stick To Your Guns, on the other hand, keep things close to their hardcore home turf, transitioning from fist-pumping riot punk à la Rise Against into Madball mosh-parts on their own original cut, “We Still Believe.” Their cover of fellow Orange County outfit Inside Out’s “Burning Fight” is no less uncompromising, with pummeling riffs and a caustic vocal barrage worthy of any old-school pit. The two STYG tracks, when considered together, offer an unflinchingly honest look at both who the band are and where they came from.

The mark of any good record is that you want to hear it over and over again, and this one is no exception, especially since its four tracks fly past in a flash. Thus you’ll find yourself playing this split on infinite loop, while hoping these band’s respective next courses can pack just as much punch as this mere appetizer.

Pure Noise

The Story So Far's “Clairvoyant”