Music News

Strike Anywhere

Politically charged punk rock has always been an iffy thing to take on. Bands start off with a hopeful anarchistic stance and, if able to survive for longer than a couple of small tours, inevitably end up at that music-industry fork in the road. It's usually a question of going down paths with uncertain promises of profits and wider exposure -- which can alienate bull-headed fans armed with the sellout stamp -- or riding a creative and professional plateau in order to maintain a focused audience. What the hell is a punk-rock kid supposed to do? Here's some advice: Follow Strike Anywhere. The Richmond-based outfit has avoided ridiculous scene politics by staying true to simple work ethics -- without compromising the core of its pro-activism ideals. Dead FM, released earlier this year on Fat Wreck, is a one-two punch of bleeding-gut politico hardcore that, in the mess of today's '70s rock revival and drone-metal fervor, sounds as fresh as the Gorilla Biscuits did in 1989. Despite Dead's musical echo of the group's past efforts, Strike Anywhere is in pure fist-raising form -- and thank the punk-rock gods for that.
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Tuyet Nguyen