Stay Gold - Pills and Advice (Cover Artwork)

Stay Gold

Pills and Advice (2002)


About 6 months ago, I downloaded a track ("Quiet Please") by some band on Indecision called Stay Gold. It was good - punk hardcore, with enough melody to bear resemblance to the harder side of Good Riddance, and with enough beatdowny almost-metal to have a Champion-ish element. Thrashy (occasionally melodic) hardcore then? Well, yes - but they also showed a real attention to the little bits of melody they used, very occasionally breaking down into real emo-punk. So I got a copy of the EP, and while the track i downloaded was probably the best on the it, I still thought they were a pretty good band.

Last week I bought their new album, "Pills And Advice" (and yes, they are straight-edge - although the lyrics seem to avoid the subject). 12 tracks plus a secret cover, a load of Polaroid artwork, and lyrics oozing with regret and pain to accompany the righteous anger that's present in most punk hardcore.

The album seems to be the logical progression from the EP, with the band still employing the same hardcore punk techniques they bring together for their own style (loads of palm-muting, shouty vocals, strong back-up, fiddly lead guitar bits, punky beatdowns, and meaty drumming). On the whole, the band has delivered what was expected, and fans will definitely not be disappointed.

For newcomers, I'd say the CD would probably be liked, but might seem a little samey. The album shows just how distinctive their style is, but also how similar it can sound. There are quite a few moments throughout the album where they are obviously amazing (the end of "Pity Party" has a beautiful emo breakdown reminiscent of a more introspective Faded Grey, for example), but on the whole the album is probably more for fans than anyone else. Not to say the music is difficult (or bad, for that matter), but that to be fully appreciated it needs thorough listening. If melodic hardcore is your thing, then you'll like it; and probably even love it.