Strike Anywhere

Dead FM

Written by: PP on 17/10/2006 17:48:50

Strike Anywhere's third album brings no change in sound for the Richmond quintet, and gladly so. Some bands you want never to change and Strike Anywhere is without a doubt among that tight group of bands, who create the kind of music that inspires youth generation after generation for rebellion and to ask questions. Vocalist Thomas Barnett's messages have always been fiercely politically charged and he hasn't ever been afraid to voice his opinion on or off record.

While I may not certainly agree on all the lyrics Thomas writes (anti-globalisation for instance), I'm still fully aware that he has spent countless hours researching what he's singing about and isn't just one of those frontmen singing politics to be cool. The delivery isn't lacking either, his unique blend of harmonious melody and melodic hardcore into his vocal style is unmatched across the genre. Just see "The Promise" which perfectly demonstrates his variety with both singing and semi-hardcore screaming. Therefore it is no surprise that on "Dead FM", like on both previous albums and EPs, the band relies heavily on Thomas' ability to carry the melody forward flawlessly on top of the already harmonious and melodic guitars. Simply said, "Dead FM" is probably the most melodic and harmonious punk rock album you'll hear, and while this is its major strength, it is also its major weakeness. "Change Is A Sound" and "Exit English" were perhaps slightly heavier albums than "Dead FM" and Thomas' incredible outbursts of energetic vocals were more common, though that's not to say that for instance on "Iron Trees" or "Sedition" his vocals aren't explosive as well - there are just fewer of them on "Dead FM" than what we're used to. Instead, even more attention is diverted to the melody I already spent an entire paragraph describing. While this is by no means a terrible development, it does make the songs tedious after long listening sessions.

But to hell with that. Strike Anywhere albums were never albums you'd stick on and listen to for months and months in a row. They were always those you'd put on for those moments when you most desperately needed inspiration and a quick fix of pure punk rock melody. And that's exactly why "Dead FM" and Strike Anywhere is relevant today.

Download: How To Pray, Prisoner Echoes
For the fans of: Rise Against, Good Riddance, Strung Out, Propagandhi
Listen: Myspace

Release date 05.09.2006
Fat Wreck Chords

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