Friday, December 5, 2008

Strike Anywhere - Change Is A Sound (2001)

Hardcore-punk revivalists Strike Anywhere have a consistent and raging attack with just enough palatability to make Change Is A Sound a great album. Formed in Richmond, Va in 1999 Strike Anywhere had a strong presence in the local hardcore scene. They released the Change Is A Sound EP in 2001 then issued the album version on Jade Tree later that year.

There is nothing genre breaking or redefining here, but everything is done well. The pace set is nothing short of relentless and the punk attack is vicious through out the whole album. The repetitiveness that can plague many punk bands is hardly and issue here. Songs stay fresh by changing on a dime without losing their liquid flow and hectic pace. Bridges, intros and breakdowns seem to come out of nowhere and give the songs a unique feel. To call the lyrics political would be an understatement. Strike Anywhere is staunchly critical of American culture and politics but their lyrics are always engaging and rarely heavy handed some bands out there (Choking Victim anyone?).

It may not be as thrashy or angry as some hardcore fans would like it to be however. A good dose of melody, occasionally powerful hooks, oozin' awes (and one Oi, oi oi!) and tiny hints of pop do make appearances, but is that really a bad thing? One of the most remarkable things about this album is the degree of palatability it has while maintaining an unabashedly hardcore revivalist sound. They didn't reinvent the wheel, but they definitely set the bar damn high for every other punk act out there. Anyone looking for 29 minutes of non-stop sonic energy are in luck because Strike Anywhere delivers in a huge way with Change Is A Sound.

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