Strike Anywhere is a politically minded, melodic-hardcore, punk band from Richmond, Virginia, and “Iron Front” is their 4th full-length studio release (first release on Bridge Nine Records). Most of you should be familiar with this band’s style of alternating singing/yelling vocals, call and response chanting, group sung/shouted choruses, and whoa-oh-ohing. Throw all that on top of 90’s Fat Wreck style instrumentals and social/political themes, and you’ve got yourself a can’t-fail formula that Strike Anywhere has been perfecting over the years. In “Iron Front”, the band has proven once again that they’re becoming masters of the melodic-hardcore, punk genre.
The album packs 12 revolution inspiring punk anthems into less than 30 minutes, kicking off the intensity beautifully on the intro track “Invisible Colony”. This song has some great call-response singing/yelling that is guaranteed to get your fist in the air less than 30 seconds after pressing play. I’ve always felt that if there was a soundtrack to a modern day revolution Strike Anywhere would provide the playlist. The album’s next track, “I’m Your Opposite Number”, is one of those Strike Anywhere songs that makes you want to run into the streets and tear down “the establishment” in a united cause with your fellow man. Not exactly sure what that cause would be but, holy shit, it would be important!
Things get a bit more melodic on the third track, “South Central Beach Party”, which has a pretty cool breakdown towards the middle that may or may not give you goosebumps. “We’re knocking like heartbeats… on the skyscraper door… The windows breaking with music… Can you feel it through the floor?…”. Awesome.
The next three songs stick closely to the Strike Anywhere signature-style group sung choruses, fist pumping yells and who-oh-ohing. “The Crossing” is a smidge slower and more melodic but the next song, “Spectacular” takes off like a rocket with maybe the fasted Strike Anywhere vocals I’ve ever heard – and I LIKE IT! I would love to hear more Strike Anywhere songs at this speed.
With the exception of “Omega Footprint” the back half of the release is a bit slower and more melodic, providing some great sing-along choruses and a lot of good who-oh-ohing. The album concludes nicely with “Western Scale”, its slowest, but perhaps most heartfelt track.
When all is said and done, “Iron Front” is a great record and one that will not disappoint staunch Strike Anywhere fanatics or any fans of straight up melodic-hardcore punk rock.