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September 26, 2003

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Exit English is Strike Anywhere’s second full-length for Jade Tree Records; the follow-up to their very impressive debut, Change is a Sound. Change is a Sound, which came out in 2000, was a great album that personified the punk sound and spirit. But now it is 2003, and everybody wants to know: how does Exit English stack up to Change is a Sound?

Exit English is an album that really warrants praise. Every song on here is an anthem - something to make you want to get up and try to do something to improve your surroundings. Thomas Barnett’s lyrics are as poignant as ever with the world in a seemingly more unstable state. These aren’t your typical “fuck authority” lyrics though. These are very intelligent, thought-out commentaries, the very kind of music that the government doesn’t want you to listen to. It really gets back to what punk used to be about, actually having something important to say, and saying it with conviction.

Musically, this album just rocks. All the instruments sound precisely in place, most likely due to the fact that the man turning the knobs was none other than Brian McTernan. Recorded at Salad Days Studios in Washington, DC, the production on Exit English is really the icing on the cake; perfect sounding. All the choruses will have you singing along in no time and yelling “Oi Oi Oi” right along with Barnett.

Times change and tastes in music change as well, but an album like this really transcends change. It is something that you can play for your kids in 20 years and say “This is what I was listening to when I was growing up; this was when music meant something.”

If you liked Change is a Sound, then immediately go find Exit English and pick it up. If you’ve heard of Strike Anywhere before, but haven’t actually heard them, this is a fine place to start. We need music like this in times like these.

30 Music