Admittedly, it has been a while since I’ve heard a new hardcore band that kept my interest beyond the pleasant personalities of the members, amazing live performances, or the friendships that developed. Hardcore/metal is one of my favorite genres, being a scene and lifestyle that was very popular in my hometown. I spent my teen years immersed in a community that listened to the handful of bands in the genre that always amazed musically.
The only thing I thought was worth doing at the time was supporting the local bands that were doing what they loved. Though, for a while there, the music of such bands became predictable and it seemed as though nearly every new artist was a direct result of four or five TDWP fans that could play instruments. That bothered me because one of the most beautiful things about the hardcore/metal genre is the raw emotion and passion.
I began to lose my interest; how can someone be passionate about being a copy of someone else? Without their own vision and take on it, the breakdowns and endless guitar riffs of these copycats began to run together with few distinguishing characteristics. I took a break from the music that used to nourish me, wondering if I’d ever return for anything other than nostalgia or the undying support of countless friends involved with the genre. Just when all hope was lost, a new crop of bands found their way to my ears. One, most recently, is Gone Astray.
This local band from Worcester, MA, is a welcome addition to a genre that many critics have stated is being killed by mainstream labels (a valid argument that I donandlsquo;t necessarily agree or disagree with). With nearly two years of playing shows non-stop, this young band is out to do more than just revive a style. They have a passion for the Lord and a passion for people.
Something I’ve always loved about music is its ability to bring people together regardless of culture or background information. Gone Astray takes full advantage of that, with a desire to reach anyone that will give them a chance. I feel this is missing from some aspects of the music scene.
The End of You” is the first official song bringing a strong opening to the EP. This track reminds me so much of Matthew 10:39 which says “Whoever finds his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”The vocals are a refreshing blend of growls and clean singing declaring their point with the skilled playing of each musician.
I looked forward to the closing track not because it meant the end of the EP but because of its name. “The West Coast” wasn’t what I thought it would be but I was pleasantly surprised with the unique arrangement. Any song with the lyrics “I’m going to the West Coast” has my approval but what really stuck with me was the breakdown.
Another notable track is “A Sense of Composure ” the title track which is one of my favorites of the project. The attention to detail and talent each musician showcases is underlined by their passion. Gone Astray has already begun to find their sound and I feel that their first EP is one of the strongest starts I’ve heard in a while. They are certainly a band to pay attention to as they continue to make a name for themselves and a mark on the world.
While A Sense of Composure was released last year the message of each song remains just as powerful and the potential of the band just as great. With a new album Deliverance set to be released later this year you won’t have long to wait for more music from this five-member band. In the meantime pick up a digital copy of the EP on the band’s Bigcartel.
Gone Astray has a great purpose as well as the faith and work ethic to see it through. These guys have a dream to share the Love of God with people of all walks of life and I feel they have only just begun. I know their next album is going to be dynamite and this EP helped them light that fuse.