You know how there is always that one band that you’ve heard so much about yet never have had the chance to hear any of their albums? Well, this is the case with myself and Strike Anywhere. Their 2003 release Exit English was talked about on all levels of the punk community, but I never had the chance to hear this disc. Now, armed with a collection of B-sides, rarities, and cover songs, Strike Anywhere have released To Live In Discontent. The album contains thirteen tracks that features songs from a rare 7-inch release, the rare Chorus Of One EP, as well as tracks left over from the Exit English recording sessions.
From the very first second of the opening song "Asleep", it is evident that Strike Anywhere play straight-up punk rock music. It’s fast, aggressive, and has a defined message that finds them dealing with politics and social themes. During "Antidote", the band drives the song with thick bass lines and fast drumming. The chorus is catchy with sing-a-long chanting as well as a dose of a few "whooa’s". One of the best tracks on the disc comes in the form of "Chorus Of One". Beginning with the vocalist shouting ‘to live in discontent/anti-establishment’, the song quickly takes form with catchy guitar riffs and a fast-paced approach before ending at just over two-minutes long. This kind of structure is what you’ll hear throughout most of the remaining tracks. However, they change things up a bit during the song "Notes On Pulling The Sky Down". It starts with an acoustic riff and an overall melodic feel that eventually makes way for the higher-energy music. Later in the track they throw in another melodic part that eventually builds up, making for one of the better songs on the disc.
While Exit English will probably always be remembered as Strike Anywhere’s breakthrough album, To Live in Discontent can offer something of a breakthrough for new fans. By including most of their older material, any listener can get an idea of how they progressed leading up to their past album. The addition of covers of songs by Gorilla Biscuts, Dog Nasty, and Cock Sparrer also gives you an idea of some of their influences. Altogether, To Live in Discontent offers a look into the past for new fans and would also be a wise pick-up for any longtime fans.
"Chorus Of One"
"Notes On Pulling The Sky Down"