STRIKE ANYWHERE: Change Is a Sound: CD

Mark my words. Barring breakups or universal armageddon, Strike Anywhere is the future of melodic hardcore. There’s nothing to complain about: unrelenting power, catchy choruses, swelling guitars, smart-as-fuck lyrics and if conviction was green paint every cop station in America would be the color of forests. They ooze the stuff. On first listen – in comparison to their scorching “Chorus of One” EP – the vocalist is very much more in the front of the mix and there’s more melody. After the third listen, I didn’t even notice. They work as a unit. Songs, at times, breathe, and in those glimpses are tiny barbs and they allow you to see how the faster songs rip along with big hooks – not only constructing a wall, but nets, swinging bats, and huge embraces of sound. How smart can their lyrics be? Take this and take close notice of the breaks: “I wish the good cops/ if they exist/ the very best/ and a bullet for all the/ complications injustice deliberations what’s the deal.” It’s not necessarily anti-cop. It’s definitely not pro-cop, but it sets up the extremely logical argument that there is a possibility of a good cop (yet to be met, but you only need one example to topple a supposition) and that’s juxtaposed against putting a bullet – not in the cop, but in what the cop’s a defender and signifier of. Again, fuckin’ smart. Another thing that impresses the hell out of me about Strike Anywhere is that they’re doing this with open arms – directly offering inclusion of all races, creeds, and both sexes, and not limiting themselves to the usually narrowly-defined topicality and nutritionally obsessed posi-core of yesteryear.

 –todd (Jade Tree)