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Exit English

Strike Anywhere

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Album Review

Though not as groundbreaking as the hype would suggest, Strike Anywhere's Exit English is an inflammatory and always on-the-verge political punk album. Like Avail and Lifetime, Strike Anywhere melds melodicism and hooks to unrelenting hardcore intensity. It makes for a record that is as fun as it is serious — equal parts pogo punk and agitprop anti-authoritarianism. Songs like "Blaze" and "To the World" sound like an East Coast version of the Offspring circa Smash — certainly high praise in terms of catchiness. And even if sometimes the band is a bit heavy-handed ("The voices of the people will come down like rain!"), Strike Anywhere plays music that is the arena rock of punk: shout-along choruses ("Lights Go Out"), spiraling riffs, vocal chord-thrashing screams. The only real drawback is that while bands like the Blood Brothers, the Mars Volta, and the Weakerthans are pushing punk music into markedly different (from each other) and strikingly fresh terrain, Strike Anywhere seems to be firmly planted in the moment during 1994 when the hardcore scene finally really embraced melody — not a bad place to be, but the members of Strike Anywhere have more in them than that.


Formed: 1999 in Richmond, VA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s

Strike Anywhere emerged in 1999 from Richmond, VA. Vocalist Thomas Barnett (ex-Inquisition), guitarists Matt Smith and Matt Sherwood, bassist Garth Petrie (ex-Count Me Out), and drummer Eric Kane took a staunchly political and activism-minded approach to hardcore and punk traditionalism, drawing comparisons in both sound and vision to such stalwart acts as Avail and 7 Seconds. After an initial EP, Chorus of One, Strike Anywhere (named such after an old Inquisition song) joined up with Jade Tree,...
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Exit English, Strike Anywhere
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