# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Strike Anywhere - Dead FM

  by Alex Halls

published: 7 / 11 / 2006

Strike Anywhere - Dead FM
Label: Fat Wreck
Format: CD


Provocative political hardcore punk from Virginia-based band Strike Anywhere, back after a three year absence with their third album

Strike Anywhere have been around since ’99. A political band who have previously confronted such topics as women’s rights or police brutality, they formed in Richmond, Virginia and are now another of Fat Wreck’s glittering array punk talents, having moved label from Jade Tree. New album, 'Dead FM', comes three years after their previous studio release, 'Exit English', and further augments the respect that has so far built up for this exceptional quintet. Those already acquainted with the band know what they can do, but to newcomers 'Dead FM' represents punk in its fundamental form, providing our inane society with a good smack in the teeth, even if this is moderate by 70's standards. Over the fourteen tracks Strike Anywhere show great ability to add melodic edges to hardcore in a way that makes it catchy but yet raw. The harmonies are much improved from previous releases: this is Strike Anywhere tighter than ever before. The excellent 'Speak to Our Empty Pockets' illustrates why Dead FM is musically spot on: it is alive with passion, melody and thought. The lyrics make their own mark, intelligently constructed and relevant to the listener, except where the band hit out at border controls in 'House Arrest', essentially inspired by a run-in with Japanese immigration a few years ago. Hopefully the topic of domestic abuse in 'Instinct' is relevant to few, but it serves as a cold reminder that not everything is always peaceful behind closed doors. The album represents solidarity amongst like-minded people, from the anti-war message in 'Gunpowder' to references of Western propaganda in 'Dead Hours'. This is an album that stands up for reality and not the so-called reality that infects our televisions sets before moving itself into tabloid circulation. Strike Anywhere will never have that cutting edge that Good Riddance or politico-punks Propagandhi have in abundance. 'Dead FM' stops short of mobilising the listener but provides enough mental stimulation to get them thinking about the social and global situation. 'Dead FM' is a wonderful album, infusing catchy melodies with vocals that move effortlessly from the soothing to the raw and searing. The album gets consistently better every listen and is even more impactful when played at high volume. Strike Anywhere have added the right amount of melody to hardcore, emitting hardcore’s energy in a more accessible and feel-good manner. Fair enough, we’re not hearing anything particularly new from a musical point of view, but the combination of reasonably provocative punk with effectual lyrics is too good to resist. This is mature punk at its best, challenging and insightful, even if a few others do it better.

Track Listing:-
1 Sedition
2 How to Pray
3 Prisoner Echoes
4 Instinct
5 The Promise
6 Speak to Our Empty Pockets
7 Two Thousand Voices
8 Hollywood Cemetery
9 Allies
10 Gunpowder
11 Dead Hours
12 Iron Trees
13 House Arrest
14 Ballad of Bloody Run

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