Strike Anywhere

Iron Front

Written by: PP on 06/11/2009 17:56:43

Ladies and gents, Richmond, Virginia melodic hardcore boys Strike Anywhere are back with a blast. "Iron Front EP" suggested that the band may be on the verge of a return-to-form after the somewhat boring previous album "Dead FM", and now their Bridge 9 debut carrying the same title sets it in stone. Gone are the overpolished, anonymous hooks, and back are the explosive vocal harmonies, the ultra fast d-beat, and the politically charged lyrical output of Thomas Barnett that previously produced such gems as "Laughter In A Police State". So yeah, this is the best Strike Anywhere album since 2003's "Exit English".

"Invisible Colony" opens the album with some of the heaviest and most bombastic hardcore punk sound we've heard from Strike Anywhere to date. It resembles the two EP tracks "Failed State" and "Hand Of Glory" because of its fiery, bulldoze-everything type of delivery, presumably to make it clear to the listener that if you're looking for ballads, you're in the wrong fucking place. It's not that great of a track, but it paves way for the ridiculously catchy "I'm Your Opposite Number" which is classic Strike Anywhere to the bone. Bright and melodic hooks, addictive vocal harmonies, and fierce political commentary lead straight to "South Central Beach Party", another melodic hardcore track with extraordinary outbursts of energy that break out of seemingly nowhere to shatter the soundscape into pieces. And from here on, it's melodic hardcore greatness all the way through. "The Crossing" is another bright piece referencing the early Strike Anywhere sound, perfected by it's sticky "Boooorderlands....cities forgotten" chorus. "Spectacular" is for all the d-beat lovers out there, just like the hard-hitting "Omega Footprint" which is the fastest Strike Anywhere track to date. But really, d-beat dominates the whole album, so if you're not into high-octane, no breaks necessary type of sound, you'll probably not like "Iron Front" very much.

Still, we have to remember that Strike Anywhere essentially sounds like Rise Against's fast tracks ("Drones", "Bricks" etc), so if you liked those but wished they were more hardcore, pissed off, and even faster, then there's lots of great stuff here to like - check out especially the best track on the album "Western Scale" and its "CASUALTIES OF WAR" gang-along (heh). They are one of those bands who have a unison sound throughout their whole career, variating only in the vocal harmonies and a few hooks here and there, but why fix what isn't broken? Even though "Iron Front" isn't as good as their classic "Change Is A Sound", Strike Anywhere are still one of the best bands in the genre, and this record shows why.

Download: Western Scale, I'm Your Opposite Number, The Crossing
For the fans of: Rise Against, Propagandhi, No Trigger, Bad Religion
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.10.2009
Bridge 9

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