A successful lean towards a more melodic side for the American punkers
I guess it is kind of an adventure to be a band with an pro-anarchy attitude in a place like Richmond, Virginia where redneck sons and daughters of former KKK members wielding guns aren’t that uncommon. So, a few of the extremes in Strike Anywhere’s views seem logical.
Their new album continues where “Dead FM” left us- it has basically the same formula of fast songs that vary between melodic vocals and screaming. And to a certain extent the melodic side gets the upper hand this time around, which is a good thing, considering it has been the band’s strong side for some time. No one expected face-melting death metal riffs anyway, right?
“Invisible Colony” opens the album quite dynamically – right from the verse, packed with fast rhythms, a melodic chorus, gang shouts and a clear message against the US government’s attempts to monitor everyone’s communications. Things continue in pretty much the same vein in “I'm Your Opposite Number”, “The Crossing”, and “Failed State”, even though the second half of the album tends to drag a bit.
The songs in “Iron Front” also aren’t the longest ones around and actually stick to the typical punk-rock length of 2-3 minutes. For that time though, Strike Anywhere manage to say a lot. Every song has some characteristic idea and a memorable moment, that prevents the album from the fault of many punk-rock releases who tend to repeat themselves.
The lyrics once again are quite angry with the whole capitalist system and globalization. I, as someone with rather conservative views, couldn’t help thinking “get a job, hippies” at certain times. To my comfort though, the German organization Iron Front from the 30’s that has the album named after it (and from where the band burrows the logo with the three arrows pointing downwards) was also an anti-communist one.
The new album by Strike Anywhere doesn’t launch the band into new horizons but is exactly what is expected from them – fast, melodic, and angry punk-rock. The production value is great and there is a possibility they will crush you by the very way this thing sounds alone. Definitely nothing stops “Iron Front” from grabbing you… and it is far from being set to fail like the organization by the same name.
Verdict: 5 / 6