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Tag Archives: when they drop a bomb on a building to kill a movement

You know, I forgot how much I liked Strike Anywhere. Really, I did.

For the uninitiated, they’re an American Melodic Hardcore band, but they were definitely near the forefront of the whole scene (i.e. before it became cool). Smart, political, angry and wordy, they were kind of band that you could listen to if you liked Rage against the machine, appreciated the things they were talking about, but hated their fan base (this guy right here). What SA had though was this underlying sense of unity that made them even more important as a band that many imitate but few actually succeeded. Even if you’re not politically/socially charged, they made you think while you’re shouting along thanks to the openness of vocalist/lyric writer Thomas Barnett.
I’m convinced it has to do with dreadlocks. Dudes with dreadlocks are able to just rebel against things so passionately.

As a band it’s almost sad to see them now. Especially in the world of hardcore, a band has a life expectency from a couple days to a couple years at max. Strike Anywhere has been at it since the late 90’s making them the old guard of their sound. Watching them tour with younger bands – scratch that – open for younger bands, especially bands who’s fanbase were barely alive when SA dropped their first album, sadly it seems like they’re a bunch of old dudes preaching to a bunch of preteens.

I remember the first time I heard Change is a Sound. It blew my mind. It was amazing. It almost felt like the band was infront of me and shouting along the lyrics to Sunset on 32nd street “when they broke down your door and put their guns in the face of your wife and child. and when they pinned you to the floor did you say “officer, I am not resisting you!“. Very emotional.

Interest in them sort of waned afterwords. I found that after repeated listens the music itself could get stale, even though I could hear Thomas shout the words “too many lifetimes wasted, how many words did it take? and when was the first time it struck your heart with fear?” and not get tired of it. I found the same thing with their following albums: Exit English and Dead FM. They were good but didn’t even have the lasting power that Change did and even that one got boring after a while.

Thing is, every now and again I get an urge to listen to them that I don’t even get for bands like Refused or even Dead Kennedys or other politically/socially charged bands because few speak with as much conviction as Strike Anywhere.

They’re now on the smaller Bridge 9 record label (Were on Fat Wreck for Dead FM. Jade Tree for the others) which may be a step down for them, but a step up in now they’re in a label among their peers. They released a new album recently entitled Iron Front and it’s really angry. I highly recommend it. It’s a return to form for them. I still remain them to be the quintessential Melodic Hardcore band. And one of the most important socially conscious bands to every exist.

I’ll leave you with this:

Before we forget who we are: lift up! Our souls in union!

– r.o.a

Listening to:  Strike Anywhere – Failed State [album: Iron Front]