AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Strike Anywhere - Iron Front Album Cover

Strike Anywhere - Iron Front

Reviewed by
6.8
Strike Anywhere - Iron Front
Release Date: September 6, 2009
Record Label: Bridge Nine Records
As an avid baseball fan, I am proud to declare Ichiro Suzuki of my beloved Seattle Mariners as one of the finest, most reliable players in the game. His strategy could be seen as almost superstitiously repetitive, however it works for him. He continues to crank out record numbers, and his statistics are above nearly every other major leaguer out there. You see, even when he has a "down year," you believe his traditional strategy will break his rut and put him back where he belongs. Never seems to fail us loyalists.

Like Ichiro, Strike Anywhere has been around now for awhile, always sticking with the same basic aggressive formula of chaotic melodies over Thomas Barnett's impassioned cries. Essentially, the band has remained a viable fabric in the melodic hardcore stitching, like a more articulate Goldfinger and if Rise Against were still pissed off. For their long-anticipated Bridge Nine debut, Iron Front, one would expect Strike Anywhere to heed their Jade Tree momentum and seize the day on a group of songs built on the platform of dominating punk rock. Blame it on said reliability, but on LP number four, Strike Anywhere has flatlined.

Part of the problem is the need for variance, as Brian McTernan steps in to produce once more. Like John Feldmann with Goldfinger, it stymies a band's sound and halts the occurrence of any advancement or growth. Iron Front is a title that rings with bitter anger, but stalls after only a few songs due to how little everything divides itself. At just under 30 minutes, it's important for a band to skip over how fast everything is and focus on some finesse as well -- and after three previously entries that are some of the most stirringly powerful melodic hardcore you'll ever lay ears on, Iron Front is a dire disappointment. Hell, two of the best tracks the band recorded during these sessions were put on the "teaser" EP!

After the double-strike of "Invisible Colony" and "I'm Your Opposite Number," everything else begins blending together -- and honestly, after several two-minute ragers in a row, it becomes difficult to remember which song is which. Sure, "Summerpunks" is a blazing pop-punk scorcher, and "Last Will and Testament" survives on the power of Barnett's honest delivery, but despite some hints of sunlight, this is a record without much life to it. After all, Barnett is still a dedicated songwriter and hearing him scream "Fuck no" on "Hand of Glory" makes you tremble with a smidgen of pleasure. Lest we forget how truly talented the band behind him are: Eric Kane continues to pulverize the drumkit, but new guitarist Matt Smith isn't given any time to show what he can bring to the table. Garth Petrie and Mark Miller walk a familiar line here, and it feels like McTernan's production -- while normally lovely -- is going through the motions on this record (this is, after all, their fourth record working with him).

Strike Anywhere is a band that has yet to overstay their welcome and can make a better record than this; Dead FM proved that even with a label switch, they could maintain the integral core of their organic & abrasive sound. All we have here are thirteen tracks that just leapfrog each other without any commitment. Consider bringing a new producer aboard, and you've got your return to form -- but after three long years, Iron Front is a miracle in poor execution and fails to gather any true grit from a hardcore sound that offers little to no separation between itself. We all hit our slumps, and Strike Anywhere have yet to show any reason as to why recovery is not an option.

Recommended if You LikeRise Against; Strung Out; No Trigger; Smoke or Fire
Choice Cuts"Last Will and Testament," "Summerpunks" and "Invisible Colony"


Tracklisting1. Invisible Colony
2. I'm Your Opposite Number
3. South Central Beach Party
4. Failed State
5. Hand of Glory
6. The Crossing
7. Spectacular
8. Blackbirds Roar
9. Omega Footprint
10. Summerpunks
11. First Will and Testament
12. Western Scale
13. Postcards From Home
Band MembersThomas Barnett: vocals
Matt Smith: guitar/vocals
Garth Petrie: bass
Eric Kane: drums
Mark Miller: guitar/vocals


Online VitalsOfficial Site | Official Myspace
PurchaseAmazon MP3
This review is a user submitted review from Chris Fallon. You can see all of Chris Fallon's submitted reviews here.
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 29
09:02 PM on 10/05/09
#2
Matthew Tsai
Born and raised
Offline
User Info.
Matthew Tsai's Avatar
Love love love this album despite the genericness of it.
09:42 PM on 10/05/09
#3
Justin_stacy
Go AWAY! Batin'!
Offline
User Info.
Justin_stacy's Avatar
such a boring repetitive disappointment. i seriously can't believe as a band this is the path they wanted after Dead FM.

should beg Fatty to take them back.
09:48 PM on 10/05/09
#4
Chris Fallon
Boom.
Offline
User Info.
Chris Fallon's Avatar
such a boring repetitive disappointment. i seriously can't believe as a band this is the path they wanted after Dead FM.

should beg Fatty to take them back.
And get Bill Stevenson to produce? I would really like to hear what they could do with somebody else behind the boards.
01:30 AM on 10/06/09
#5
Chalie22
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
Chalie22's Avatar
Wow this record is way better than Dead FM. The band really bounced back nicely and wrote a good catchy record.
07:02 AM on 10/06/09
#6
SilverWings
Just don't poo in my hat
Offline
User Info.
SilverWings's Avatar
I really disliked Dead FM, hopefully this one brings me back into SA.
07:37 AM on 10/06/09
#7
The Marc
No stupid long signature
Offline
User Info.
The Marc's Avatar
Respectfully disagree, this is possibly their best album - the middle drags a tiny bit, but picks it up in the end.
07:38 AM on 10/06/09
#8
futurebreed
Photographer
Offline
User Info.
futurebreed's Avatar
I personally think this album is way better than Dead FM. Just saw them last night, and it sounds great live too
07:42 AM on 10/06/09
#9
robdobi
hates your guts.
Offline
User Info.
robdobi's Avatar
the years gone by got a better review than this? c'mon.
08:07 AM on 10/06/09
Alex DiVincenzo
www.alexislegend.com
Offline
User Info.
Alex DiVincenzo's Avatar
Fair review. Too much sameness on this album, unfortunately.
08:24 AM on 10/06/09
simplelivin_GCH
drowning in the midwest
Offline
User Info.
simplelivin_GCH's Avatar
i love it.....beats out Dead FM for me
08:30 AM on 10/06/09
ReedAreTheUnion
We Are The Union
Offline
User Info.
ReedAreTheUnion's Avatar
Totally disagree. Top 5 of the year material in my opinion.
This record carries a completely different tone than any other SA record, but absolutely still sounds like them. Same reason I really liked the new Taking Back Sunday record (that everyone seemed to hate).
The last few songs are so huge, unlike anything they've ever done. Even the two b-sides from the EP are among their strongest material.
08:49 AM on 10/06/09
prefix-core
Andy Adores Alliteration
Offline
User Info.
prefix-core's Avatar
And get Bill Stevenson to produce? I would really like to hear what they could do with somebody else behind the boards.
Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Blasting Room + Bill Stevenson solves all.
08:50 AM on 10/06/09
prefix-core
Andy Adores Alliteration
Offline
User Info.
prefix-core's Avatar
This album is growing on me a little bit, but as mentioned -- lacks the "bite" of their previous records. That being said? I can't wait to watch them play "Chorus of One" and "Infrared" at the Fest this year!
09:31 AM on 10/06/09
CellarGhosts
Blodtørst
Online
User Info.
CellarGhosts's Avatar
Yes, yes, yes, and yes! Blasting Room + Bill Stevenson solves all.
It's true. Bill Stevenson is a god amongst men.

Anyway, more or less agree with this review. Dead FM is far better, but I think they can still bounce back. This album's a disappointment but it is still enjoyable.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
AP.net Podcast on iTunes
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate