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Strike Anywhere
EXIT ENGLISH
(Jade Tree)
Stars graphics

On their 2001 debut, Change Is a Sound, Richmondís Strike Anywhere hooked up with ace producer Brian McTernan (Thrice) and made a case for themselves as worthy successors to their home townís melodic-hardcore kings, Avail. McTernan is back on the follow-up, as is the bandís penchant for multi-faceted mosh and working-class activism. "Losing sight of our roots in the cathode rays/Amnesia for the end of our days," dreadlocked frontman Thomas Barnett laments on the albumís first single, "Infrared." The track is full of sweet harmonies, but the bandís hardcore riffs are too street-smart to fall under the trendy screamo banner. For a punk group with a strident anti-corporate agenda, Strike Anywhere are intent on keeping their lyrics positive and their music upbeat. "Aluminum Union" tempers its outrage with a good-time sing-along; the anti-war screed "In the Fingernails" starts off with tambourine and handclaps. And with "Extinguish" ó "From ashes weíre learning, Richmondís burning/Disrupt and disorder at the empireís borders" ó the band deliver the catchiest ode to their oft-troubled home town since Availís classic "Over the James."

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: April 23 - 29, 2004
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