Strike Anywhere

Nightmares Of The West EP

Written by: PP on 19/11/2020 23:57:42

Sociopolitical commentary and anti-capitalist rhetoric is the bread and butter of punk bands worldwide, but few read and sound like political manifestos of a direct revolution the way that melodic hardcore stalwarts Strike Anywhere have done throughout their career. Through an aggressive stance and piercingly honest, explorative narrative and raw criticism of societal issues, Thomas Barnett's lyrics have always been among the most direct and pointed in the genre, from calling out police brutality and essentially preceding the black lives matters movement by almost two decades on 2001 debut album "Change Is A Sound" ("Sunset on 32nd Street") to predicting the polarized society of today's America on 2009's "Iron Front" ("We call it evolution, you call it a crime / But as we run from your culture, you're running out of time" on "Failed State"). When left open naked in the midst of the outbursts of pure energy and melodic hardcore godhood, his powerful commentary has been a treasure chest in the genre, a source for inspiration and a call to arms for a whole generation of punk fans who've grown up realizing the hidden and not-so-hidden injustices in the world through the band's music.

Having gone quiet for most of the Obama era, I've been wondering how long it'd take before Barnett's explosive passion would manifest itself in recorded form. It took eleven years: "Nightmares Of The West" EP is the first new music by the band, yet it's as if the band picked up right where they left off. It's every bit as ferocious and aggressive as their past work: the songs are constructed out of the very raw passion that breaks out high-energy pits at concerts, yet perfectly balanced with melodic, albeit raw distorted guitars and huge anthemic sing-alongs and gang shouts at every opportune moment. Through relentless tempo and razor-sharp political charge, Strike Anywhere craft essential punk rock that's perfectly balanced between passion and accessibility, and that is very much on display throughout this EP.

From the massive sing-alongs of "The Bells" to the riotous lyricism "we deserve to fight for everyone" on opener "Documentary", Strike Anywhere spends six original tracks (and one Blocko cover - "Opener") pouring unadulterated passion into the mic blended with anthemic sing-along melodies and raw guitar distortion that should leave no punk fan cold. It's one of those expressions that's designed to shut up anyone claiming punk is dead, and when you on top of that combine it with instantly catchy bangers like "The Bells" or "Frontier Glitch", it reminds you about what punk rock's supposed to be about and sound like. Is Strike Anywhere the most relevant politically charged band of the past two decades? I can think of only Anti-Flag and maybe Propagandhi who come even close to the unabated spirit Strike Anywhere have demonstrated for the past two decades.


Download: The Bells, Frontier Glitch, Documentary
For the fans of: Propagandhi, No Trigger, Shook Ones, Capital, After The Fall, Hear the Sirens, Rise Against
Listen: Facebook

Release date 17.07.2020
Pure Noise Records

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