Politics is a hot topic in the music realm right now, from the superstar stratosphere of Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M. all the way down to your everyday struggling punk-rock band. Virginia's Strike Anywhere may not be filling stadiums, but its searing melodic hardcore and fierce commitment to social issues has been informing and inflaming audiences since the group convened in 1999. Rising from the ashes of the near-legendary outfit Inquisition, Strike Anywhere adopted a zealous velocity and penchant for throat-shredding anthems from forebears such as Dag Nasty and Lifetime. The group's three discs -- Chorus of One, Change Is a Sound and last year's scathing Exit English -- infused aggressive riffage with literate screeds against authoritarianism. So it's no wonder that the insurgent quintet is coming to town as part of the Rock Against Bush Tour, also featuring Anti-Flag, Midtown, the Epoxies and Mike Park. The bill was organized by Punk Voter, a left-leaning grassroots association dedicated to combating ignorance and apathy while inciting music fans and young people of all kinds to hit the polls. Punk rock may have long ago blunted its political edge, but Strike Anywhere transcends all scenes and genres by playing protest music -- pure, simple and passionate.
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