Politicore: How Stray From The Path Changed Hardcore Forever

Let’s face it, hardcore has become a little stagnant over the years. Its progression has been very promising, but still leaves many fans hoping for a little more each year. Each time someone is introduced to a new band, it’s easy to discover how that band brings something different to hardcore. All the same, it’s also easy to indicate what they are doing that most other hardcore bands are also doing.

Then, there’s that little sliver of hope that comes once a decade (if we are lucky). If you’ve heard Stray From The Path before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This will all be old news to you. For those of you who don’t, I’m sorry to change your taste in music so suddenly.

Stray From The Path lead vocalist Drew Dijorio
Photo courtesy of Gabe Becerra

Stray From The Path was formed in 2001 in Long Island, NY. New York has been a breeding ground for hardcore bands, especially during the 1990s. Sometimes unique to the hardcore scene, it takes a little time to get your name out there and gain any sort of recognition for your music. The group brought in Andrew “Drew” Dijorio in 2005 to take over for vocals, and they haven’t looked back since.

Despite all of the great things Stray From The Path does musically, let’s really harp on Drew Dijorio for a moment. Dijorio was only the beginning of sustained success for Stray From The Path, but it comes as no question it begins with him. I’ll be as blunt as I can be with this: no one touches Dijorio. He is in another dimension, standing alone in what I consider a groundbreaking role in the future of hardcore. Forget the touchy subjects, because Dijorio pins them to the wall. Don’t get me wrong, hardcore is one of the few genres where vocalists will truly elaborate on society’s issues in a way that seems true and genuine. Dijorio, on the other hand, opens the flood gates to criticize many of the wrongdoings among the government and its officials.

In what I consider one of the boldest moves ever made by a band, Stray From The Path unveiled their song, “The House Always Wins”, on the day of the 2016 presidential election. This drew a lot of criticism towards the band from right-wing groups. Listen to “The House Always Wins” below. (Warning: Explicit Language)

Some you may be asking, so what? What is the point? The point is this: hardcore will never be the same. Even more so, the entire music industry is set to change. Why? It’s simply because musicians can now see that lyrics can come from the heart without filtration. In this day in age, no one was willing to step up, bite the bullet, and put their idea out there without planting a garden next to it. Artists can now look to Dijorio and Stray From The Path, who will set everything ablaze alongside their ideas.

Notably, Stray From The Path has toured with Architects, The Ghost Inside, Norma Jean, Counterparts, and many other A-list metal acts. More recently, Stray From The Path co-headlined a country-wide tour with Silent Planet, with support from fellow hardcore act Kublai Khan and Greyhaven. 2019 is set to be a big year for Stray From The Path, starting off with a European tour alongside While She Sleeps, Trash Boat, and the up and coming Landmvrks.

Cover photo courtesy of Gabe Beccera
Instagram: @gabethepigeon


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