I feel lucky as hell: the new Strike Anywhere album popped into my world today. And to my money, Strike Anywhere are one of the best bands ever, both live and on record - while many think their last, 'Dead FM', wasn't all that good, it's still a pretty damn good punk rock record. I guess, when you've got records the calibre of the utterly stunning 'Change Is A Sound' and 'Exit English', everything else is kinda going to pale in comparison. But on a first couple of listens, 'Iron Front' is... well, it's fucking brilliant.
It doesn't have the all-out frenzy of their first album, and in terms of an actual sound it's pitched between '... English' and 'Dead FM', but that ineffable restless melody and aggression SA are known for is present and correct. Plus, it's out on Bridge 9, so everyone who called them a sellout for going with Fat Wreck for one record can get their scene points back up by bigging up B9 yadda yadda. That's what they'd call a win-win, or something. The massive idiots.
There aren't many bands who really do walk it like they talk it, even though there'll no doubt be a legion of punker-than-thou fools trying to pick holes in SA's modus operandi. But take a look at this utterly epic tour diary from when they made the effort to go to the shadier places in Europe that most Euro bands - let alone US bands - won't go. Yeah, the European squat scene is incredibly helpful and just as flourishing as always, and there are bands who can make the most of it by paying their dues, but for a group like SA, who are at the stage they're at, to still be operating with their ethics firmly stamped on their metaphorical foreheads is laudable.
Thankfully, there's no worthy-ass shit here: these dudes happen to shred.
Hopefully, I'll have some more Strike Anywhere stuff for you guys when the album nears its release. Until then: I heard they might be touring over here towards the end of the year... with another similarly legendary punk rock band? Any guesses? You won't be disappointed. Promise.