Adelitas Way: Stuck review

If you’re a fan of melodic hard rock bands like Shinedown, Alter Bridge, Pop Evil or Otherwise and are not yet familiar with Adelitas Way, it’s high  time you jump on the bandwagon, so to speak. The band was formed in Las Vegas, NV in 2006 and their latest album for Virgin Records, Stuck was nominated as one of the most anticipated albums of 2014 by Noisecreep and blows any preconceived notions right out of the water. Stuck is only the band’s third studio album and they have already toured with industry heavyweights like Shinedown, Creed, Guns N Roses, Godsmack and Halestorm. The album was produced by Nick Raskulinecz and the snarling teeth coming out of the darkness on the cover is a stout indicator of the vicious melodies contained within. No less than four singles from the band’s second album, Home School Valedictorian broke into the top 5 on active rock radio and Stuck is set to follow in its predecessor’s footsteps. It should thrust the band into the spotlight they so richly deserve, making them a household name along with their peers. Vocalist Rick DeJesus had this to say about the new album: “I’ve seen through the eyes of so many people, from my friends, to my peers, myself, everyone, at some point, you know, they feel stuck in life. They feel like their feet are in the mud, you know, they feel like they’re trying to pull out and trying to move forward and trying to grow and sometimes you just can’t.” That frustration of trying to evolve and the bite of those teeth from the cover can be felt immediately on opener and lead single “Dog On A Leash.” The melodic grooves and strident vocals on it and “Not Thinking About Me” draws inspiration from Nickelback and has the same undeniable mainstream crossover appeal while the biting guitars on “Save The World” are underpinned by the thought provoking lyrics and smoldering vocals of DeJesus. Tracks like “Different Kind Of Animal” and “Drive” pick up sonically where their self-titled debut and Home School Valedictorian left off and takes it up a notch into the next stage of the band’s musical evolution while title track “Stuck” is a moody, slow burner that carries the same metallic heft of Break The Cycle-era Staind. Elsewhere, the sumptuous bass grooves during the bridge and blistering solo in “Keep Me Waiting” are not quite like anything the band has done before. Meanwhile the tranquil harmonies and densely layered hooks of “Undivided” will dig deep into your cerebral cortex, causing repeat plays. At the same time, “Blur” pairs the bass line from Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” with massive anthemic radio ready choruses while the exquisite string arrangements, eloquent piano and soaring vocal harmonies in “Something More” will immediately bring to mind “Bittersweet Symphony” by The Verve. From there, the vibrant, uplifting hooks and emotive vocals of closer “We Came” veers into the familiar territory of Fuel or Puddle Of Mudd and closes the album strong with the message “We Came, We Saw, We Kicked Your Fucking Ass!” Here’s the bottom line- Vocalist Rick DeJesus, guitarist Robert Zakaryan, bassist Derek Johnston and drummer Trevor Stafford are at the top of their game and have delivered an album that will stand the test of time. Rating: 9/10 -Eric Hunker