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February 2, 2003

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Since the very beginning of hardcore, hardcore bands have been fueled by political and social issues. Anthemic songs lyrically striving for anarchy have also been long associated with hardcore music. Still, not since Against All Authority's "Destroy What Destroys You" has a politically-fueled album found its way into my regular rotation. Many times I have found the lyrics rather shallow, often self-important and rarely well thought out. Most hardcore bands perform as if preaching, an act that can grow rather tiresome. "Change Is A Sound" breaks this unfulfilling cycle with a powerful and meaningful album full of important songs that in the very least will provoke otherwise stagnant minds. No band out there mixes melodic punk with hardcore as well as Strike Anywhere. The sound reminded me of Reach The Sky meets Against All Authority (minus the horns), while the vocals, at times, had an uncanny resemblance to those found on the Donuts N' Glory album. When sung, the vocals come off as very strong and powerful and sound good over the tenacious guitars and powerful drumming. When screamed, on the other hand, the vocals portray the extreme anger of the lyrics while managing to remain very clear and understandable and maintain the level of emotion. There aren't too many hardcore bands out there that you can sing along with these days but you will find yourself singing along with Strike Anywhere after only a few listens, and more importantly - you'll find yourself singing songs with deep meanings and thoughtful lyrics. Strike Anywhere blow through this 11 track album in overdrive. Just over 29 minutes in length, "Change Is A Sound" is a bit on the short side. This doesn't take away from the mastery and importance behind what is sure to be the best politically-fueled hardcore album in years. With important messages that need to be heard and rallied around, Strike Anywhere find a way to portray their beliefs on social and political issues without becoming overbearing. "Change Is A Sound" is a mighty LP that should be recognized for its lofty goals. There is no filler material here and each song packs a solid knockout punch. "Sunset On 32nd Street", "Riot Of Words", "Timebomb Generation" and "Three On A Match" stand out as the best on an album full of good songs. The delivery of the vocals, the amazing energy and passion behind the music and the well-written political lyrics make Strike Anywhere a force to be reckoned with.

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