There is not much to say about the grinding and rising tension that cuts like a laser across the speakers on the introductory track, “Stuck.” It is second-nature to see the black-and-white cover with bricks being laid across an all-white background and see a prison, but Hoax breaks out of this mold with some impressive displays of control. The restraint on “Stuck” is almost welcoming to the chaos that follows as the slower, more melodic in a sense, punk sound is vibrant and opening.
As the transition into “Free The Land” begins, the drums are now a coursing king snake that spends more time attacking than any sort of reservation. The highlight of the track are these pounding percussive beats that conflict with the machine-gun-esque systematic downfall that is a joy overall. While Stuck or Hoax will not be something that hits that golden spot for everyone, it manages to take a thrill ride for a short, but digestible serving. With a platform more built for pain than speed, Hoax can often times move their abrasive sense to a newer level that begs to be heard loudly over speakers.
Even the final track “Discipline” which punches through the crowd in this last-ditch effort is a reflective punk rock opera. Hoax barely holds any theatrics over the listener and instead opts to ignite this mosh pit frenzy through one final scream before the record stops spinning. The beauty of having such a short release under the belt is that when it spins 15 consecutive times in such a manner that Hoax can enthrall the listener and almost trap them in this Venus encapsulation.
Stuck is a difficult record to put down and continues to break the surface on daily plays. When it opens and closes its jagged, but approachable form, the record as a whole is more an appetizer to stronghanded punk than any off-putting hell. It is quick but holds enough weight to carry the listener right to a promised land of punk.