Does anyone else think that life was more intense about five years ago? Everything that happened mattered so much more than today’s daily work routine does. It was reflected in the way we drove as fast as we could, in the way we raced to third base with as many people as possible. Was it easier to believe in stuff then? Did that motivate our intense need to experience and comprehend as fast as possible?
Back then we were glad to have music that kept up with our impatience, music that was straightforward, to the point, and quick with it, usually summarizing what we felt in about two and a half minutes. In reality though, the things happening today matter tenfold more than what mattered to us then. With Strike Anywhere’s third release, Exit English, the Richmond, Va. five piece reminds us of the intensity of the times now, bringing their message to us in a fast and straightforward manner. They are showing their impatience with the way things have been for too long.
Exit English is Strike Anywhere’s most melodic album. Still drawing from their hardcore roots (see Avail, Kid Dynamite), Strike Anywhere continues to stock its songs with gang vocals, breakdowns, and lightning-fast drumming. There just happens to be many more hooks this time around. And by the second listen, you will find yourself singing along, fists in the air.
And that’s one of the best things about Exit English. It has an ability to not sound preachy (like this review), and stays away from the typical punk rock anti-government cliches (thanks NOFX and Antiflag), which gives the songs more validity. More so are the lyrics speaking toward compassion and an understanding that things are wrong, that humans are being mistreated, and that things can be changed than are they saying, “Hey, Bush, yeah he sucks. We should, um, BURN DOWN THE GOVERNMENT.”
Overall, Exit English is a solid release that, aside from some production problems, (turn the vocals up guys), should ensure that Strike Anywhere is a name we hear for a while to come.