Release date: November 2, 2017
Location: Denver, Colorado
Current Lineup: (Facebook)
- Ronnie Toplyn: Vocals/Guitar
- Steve Nelson: Vocals/Guitar
- Ben Baroch: Bass Guitar/Back up Vocals
- Cooper Travis: Drums/Back up Vocals
Our Favorite Track(s):
Sounds Like : Rise Against, My Chemical Romance, Bouncing Souls, Fenix TX, Lagwagon
We caught Stray The Course at the Toad Taverns, Punk O De Mayo fest. I could hear them playing from outside. My first thought was, “Damn who’s playing? This is great stuff”! I thought maybe it was a cover of Greenday or something more on the pop punk side. Definitely not bubble gumish, but more like something off of Kerplunk, or 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours. You know back before, Billie Joe lost his soul to the corporate bulldogs. I quickly made my way to front of the stage. The crowd was light at the time allowing me to snap some photos.
I heard so many influences, like Rise Against, MCR, The Used, and even some Greenday. I caught myself humming and fist pumping along to songs I didn’t know the words to. I spoke with Ron and Steve and let them know CPRA would love to review any material they may have. My only regret is not picking up some merch that day.
I absolutely love the 3 track EP. The song, “Crazy”, talks about feeling fear and anxiety when a relationship is coming to an end. That horrible feeling everything is changing around you and there’s nothing that can stop that train.
“And I might not be crazy, living in so much maybe
I swear that I can still hear her voice
Say that I can’t let go, I never could tell her no
What she meant to me leaves me no choice”
Now let’s move onto track 2, “Tendencies”. Admin Andy coined the term. “Break Up Punk”. This song is heartfelt, heartbreaking, break up punk. It amazes me that a song with such a dark undertone, can sound musically, like a happy moment. I think it actually speaks for the writer’s optimism about getting through a tough time.
Track 3, Traumatized, intros into the song with a nice slow guitar solo and deep self reflection. The band harmonizes and leads into a catalyst of drums and riffs. This is where the band shows off their ability and talent for different progressions.
Let’s grab some quick background from the band. I reached out for a quick comment, “As far as influences go, here are our main ones: Rise Against, My Chemical Romance, Blink 182, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Silverstein are big influences on my writing. I know our drummer is a huge prog rock fan so he grew up on Periphery, Rush, Trivium and a few others. “ This prog rock influence on drums really makes the band stand out amongst the other pop punk bands. Let’s continue,
“We initially formed back in 2011 under a different name and lineup, but the current roster and most of the EP are songs from 2017 when Steve joined the band. We aren’t a part of any label, and have a new batch of songs that we are finishing up. We are working on getting 2 more demos released over the Summer and if the response is good, we will take those to the studio!” So that means we hopefully might see some new material this summer.
Stay The Course encapsulates everything we’ve come to love about pop punk. I personally cannot wait to watch the band’s career development and hear their new releases. The fact these guys haven’t been snatched up by a major label is mind blowing. You can get all 3 songs for just $3! Ok drop them at least a fiver if possible. If you’re tired of boring and formulaic pop punk. Seriously give these guys a listen. Let’s help get them some play time on Punk Tacos or even on KROQ!
You can pick up their EP here, https://straythecourse.bandcamp.com/releases. Be sure to check them out on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/StrayTheCourseOfficial/. Instagram link – https://www.instagram.com/stray_the_course/.
Ska Bones 2018