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Strike Anywhere - Dead FM (Cover Artwork)

Strike Anywhere

Strike Anywhere: Dead FMDead FM (2006)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: sickboiChris
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Hardcore is a very fine line to walk as a band. Generally, a good band will release a great EP and/or LP, and then slowly fizzle out. Progression is too-often criticized to the point where it becomes an unachievable goal. To some, Strike Anywhere were just another band on the same path. After a grea.
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Hardcore is a very fine line to walk as a band. Generally, a good band will release a great EP and/or LP, and then slowly fizzle out. Progression is too-often criticized to the point where it becomes an unachievable goal. To some, Strike Anywhere were just another band on the same path. After a great start with their first EP, Chorus of One, came the instant classic, their first full-length Change Is a Sound; the followup, Exit English, seemed to be the beginning of the end in the eyes of many. Another hardcore band with a decent run, but their time was over, nothing left to say.

So is Dead FM a redemption album? That really depends on who you ask. Some will say the recent signing to Fat Wreck Chords only verifies the tendency to write more listener-friendly music to a wider audience. Others, including myself will say they've only gotten stronger, tighter and more focused. Dead FM is the band taking all of their previous sounds and blending it into a deep mixture of melody, aggression and intellect. The album opens with "Sedition," a track that perfectly demonstrates the musical ideas portrayed across the entire album, along with some very personal lyrics touching on the grandfather of frontman Thomas Barnett's unwilling involvement in the Manhattan Project, and its eventual genetic impact on Thomas and his father. All of the key elements of the group's past efforts are present; deep drum beats, Thomas' melodic screams, the trashing riffs and thunderous sing-alongs. But a subtle new factor is introduced: increased harmonies. To the casual fan, it's not a big difference. But I beg you to pick up a copy of any of their last three efforts and examine this carefully. You'll see exactly what I mean.

The trend exists throughout the entire album. Noticeable in standouts like "Prisoner Echoes," "The Promise" and "Instinct" is a general direction based on using harmony and melody that gives the songs a varying contrast from their heavier counterparts of past albums. But, we also find out this isn't just a hardcore band anymore. Tracks like "Two Thousand Voices," "Hollywood Cemetery" and "Allies" display a stronger punk influence, with the constant three-chord mid-tempo riffs and deep sing-along choruses.

Fear not conventional hardcore fans, there's also a generous offering of your traditional Strike Anywhere, most recognizable in the up-tempo/drum-breakdown/scream-together tunes like "Iron Trees" and "How to Pray."

So are you sick of hearing the words "harmony" and "melody" yet? I'm tired of typing them, but that really is the main emphasis of this album. Combined with Thomas really challenging himself to be more a singer/songwriter, and using more traditional song structures and arrangements, the end result is a mature album that allows the band to reach further into their punk/rock roots and influences.

What does a band do when they've accomplished so much in such a short amount of time? Then again, seven years in hardcore can be a lifetime. Luckily, if Dead FM is any indication of what life is still left in Strike Anywhere, seven years isn't even comparable to dog years.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
The Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Strike Anywhere - Change Is A SoundRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteAgainst Me! - is Reinventing Axl RoseThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyAlkaline Trio - GoddamnitNOFX - The DeclineThe Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever ToldStrike Anywhere - Exit English

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
thomas7155 (September 18, 2007)

This is a good record. pick it up.

jimmyjjackamoose (July 6, 2007)

ok. its a great record, except for "How to Pray" and that shit at the beginning of "Gunpowder"

jimmyjjackamoose (June 10, 2007)

like right now i'm listening to Rise Against pandora radio and strike anywhere keeps coming on.

jimmyjjackamoose (June 9, 2007)

logicaly, i should really like Strike Anywhere. great energy, lyrics, melody, intensity, similar to Rise Against, AFI, Good Riddance ETC. even down to the fact that they're near where i live and i get recommendations to them all the time. but i just can't get into them. i can't figure it out.

C_Z (November 15, 2006)

Alot of the songs seemed to reapeat themsleves...
they didn't realy seem to have alot of guitar skill, alot of the same stuff over and oevr and over again, drummer was dece, but other then that, needs to be more musicaly diverse and skillfull

Maks (September 14, 2006)

but you can read the lyrics on their site! that's why i wrote the previous comment, and didn't wrote that.

Maks (September 14, 2006)

i don't get why should it be disappointing. it's intense like change is a sound, and has amazing melodies. anyway i don't know about the booklet. i've ordered the vinyl but haven't it yet, so don't know.

mattp330 (September 11, 2006)

i noticed one guy below mentioned reading the lyrics and now i'm curious. did the cd come with a lyrics book? mine definitely did not. it's just a digipak with nothing in the little slip space. the only words on the whole pack was s.a. dead fm and the tracklist on the back. not even a recorded by produced by s.a. is so and so. i hope i didn't get screwed out of a lyric book.

oh yes my friend, there is most definitly a booklet

notfeelingcreative (September 11, 2006)

Right now I give it four and a half stars, but by next month it could be down to three and a half!

notfeelingcreative (September 11, 2006)

I just got this in the mail today! RIght now, I'm really digging the record, but strike anywhere albums have this pattern with me: I love them for about two or three months, then I kind of like them for another month, by the fifth or six month I'm so tired of the songs that I can't even listen to it anymore. We'll see how this one ends up!

Not-To-Regret (September 11, 2006)

Do any of their songs sound like The Bronx, Paint it Black, or heavy Good Riddance? That's the kind of "melodic" punk i'm looking for; not the Locust, not the Lawrence Arms, not Alkaline Trio. Just punk that feels like it is truely passionate and devoid of pop-punk song undertones. It's so easy for me to dismiss this band, but i'll download it and try... but with preconcieved notions I probably won't like it.

Anonymous (September 11, 2006)

This album is brilliant. It has some amazing tracks on it such as "Sedition", "Iron Trees" and "Instinct"... I rate this album on par with Exit English, but slightly lesser than Change is a Sound.

Anonymous (September 10, 2006)

If you get rid of The Promise, Speak To Our Empty Pockets, and Ballad Of Bloody Run, you have a pretty solid album.

There best is still Exit English.

- Chris Kretzer

modelcitizen (September 9, 2006)

i noticed one guy below mentioned reading the lyrics and now i'm curious. did the cd come with a lyrics book? mine definitely did not. it's just a digipak with nothing in the little slip space. the only words on the whole pack was s.a. dead fm and the tracklist on the back. not even a recorded by produced by s.a. is so and so. i hope i didn't get screwed out of a lyric book.

Scruffy (September 8, 2006)

"I don't really see what's disappointing about it unless you all want them to release another "Change is a Sound"."

Change Is A Sound was kind of dissapointing too. I think most of those saying it's dissappointing may be in the same boat I am. I've always bought their albums because of 2 or 3 really freaking awesome songs, while the rest were pretty boring (and the lyrics aren't that great either). This one doesn't have a Detonation, Amplify/Blaze or To The World.

EyesLikeBombs (September 7, 2006)

I guess I'm a loser or whatever, but there is nothing hardcore about this album. There's a lot about it that's good though!

Kursk (September 7, 2006)

So I've really tried to get into this band but it's hard for some reason. I've listened to probably a dozen songs total by this band, and I don't know I can't qite put my finger on it. They are a good band to see live, good show.

dazed (September 7, 2006)

OK I finally got this.

And it's great.

I don't really see what's disappointing about it unless you all want them to release another "Change is a Sound". I'm personally glad they didn't because this is just as good in a different way; even though it verges on pop-punk at times towards the end it starts off amazing and ends solid.

Anonymous (September 7, 2006)

This album is amazing, and if you don't agree, go hear them play it live. Seeing them with modern life is war was outstanding.

If you said this band isn't a hardcore band, you're probably confused about what hardcore is.

Anonymous (September 7, 2006)

stop calling Strike Anywhere hardcore because they are anything but hardcore.

almostpunkenough (September 7, 2006)

i agree with dude a few posts down about No Trigger's latest being better, but this is still damn fine.

iconoclast (September 7, 2006)

barring a few tracks, this album is pretty blah. just doesnt really grab me. the style of chang is a sound is just fucking perfect. this ist just kinda forgettable.

drunkenriot (September 7, 2006)

definately tops Exit English, ties with the b-sides release

bryne (September 6, 2006)

Good review. I enjoy this record and I think the melodic stuff sounds better. I guess I'm just soft.

LeightonESmith (September 6, 2006)

Sorry to say it but.........

No Trigger - Canyoneer >>>> Strike Anywhere - Dead FM

Crashtester (September 6, 2006)

"Ill walk this wasteland with you cause its the least I can do" Ive been singing that line all day. Another great release, way better than Exit. Im glad they decided to go with some different mastering this time, while its still Brian M producing its sounds a little fresher this time.

dazed (September 6, 2006)

I'm with Brian in thinking Exit English is at least tied for their best. I really thought it was the best record of 2003.

I don't know how this one is cause I haven't got it yet but I can't stop listening to the MP3 of Prisoner Echoes.

Stefano (September 6, 2006)

definatly a let down. the opening track is a fuckin' killer jam that is easily reminiscent of the band i love. yet heading into track two and beyond it looses more and more what always made them stand out as a band. It ends up being nothing more than some pop rock record with a few sweet guitar lines with well written lyrics. definatly a let down for me from one of my favoirte bands.

colin (September 6, 2006)

am i the only one who thinks this is just another strike anywhere record? i don't know how this would be in contention for tops of the year. there's nothing really grasping about it.

ChokingVictim (September 6, 2006)

"ChokingVictim -

If you are referring to the VA Beach show, that's pretty weak. I drove from Richmond right through Ernesto, and when I got to VA Beach it was all cleared up."

Maybe it was just where I was at. When I got off work at 5:30 (yeah, they still made me come into work), all the roads were flooded. It turns out it fucked up something in my engine.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

gay record.

XCARLUPANDDIEX (September 6, 2006)

Go strike anywhere !

sickboi (September 6, 2006)

I counted 3...

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

Don't have this yet, but after all the comments I'm kinda excited after being a little let down by Exit English. Also, I'm kinda surprised there are no comments on how the reviewer insisted on calling Strike Anywhere a hardcore band 37 times in one review. More melodic hardcore if you ask me, but maybe I'm just nitpicking,which seems to be what this site is all about...

Score's for my anticipation of picking this one up. It better be good...

...evildeadalive

baseball (September 6, 2006)

oldpunker:

see my post below

wagner1979 (September 6, 2006)

sickboi, i agree with you.
almost bang on with the casualties-esque look comment.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

Top 5 of the year-oldpunker-

socrates (September 6, 2006)

I really hated it at first, but this one's a grower. I think one of the guitars sounds awful at times, but I love that the singings gone more melodic.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

Bizzle, unless you bought it (which I don't remember you telling me you did...) I don't think you can really comment on the lyrics. Some of what you were talking about being "lame" lyric-wise may not even be what you think it is. Many of the songs have explainations as to what they're talking about, and I think that if you sat down and had the booklet in front of you, you'd change your mind on at least a couple of those songs. I think the whole thing is very strong, and better than Exit English at the very least.

-r3venge therapy

baseball (September 6, 2006)

well i picked it up after work yesterday and listened uninterrupted for 31 minutes straight through while reading the lyrics

and i can confidently say this is a great release

it seems like a natural step for the band and the lyrics are top notch

liner notes are cool as well

sickboi (September 6, 2006)

I dunno. I think Anti-Flag's image throws off a lot of people. Very Casualties-ish. If they were just some dudes in t-shirts and jeans, without superduper hair, I think more people would respect them.

Cthulhu (September 6, 2006)

I think they take the line "we'll take back everything they steal" too seriously...
I mean, just look at their new video! ;-)

BizzleBrizzle (September 6, 2006)

What? Strike Anywhere may be blunt, but they have a much more eloquent way of being blunt than Anti-Flag. I dunno, I just have higher expectations out of them as a band.

modelcitizen (September 6, 2006)

this is a pretty good cd. prisoner of echoes is my fave right now. and i think this person-

"One of the only worthwhile releases this year. Digging the new Falcon record as well. Year may be savaged yet."

-is living in a different year then i am. i can't count the number of top notch cds that have been released this year.

sickboi (September 6, 2006)

*Their songwriting

sickboi (September 6, 2006)

What are you talking about? Strike Anywhere have always been a very "matter-of-fact" political band. They're songwriting is very similar to Anti-Flag's because they don't hide what they are trying to say in confusing metaphors or vague comparisons, they just come right out and say it, which I personally respect. Call is sloganeering all you want, but both bands don't just speak shit, they actually get involved in the causes they speak out against.

BizzleBrizzle (September 6, 2006)

I mostly just hate those songs they put up on myspace/fat's site, I'm left wondering if it was Anti-Flag who wrote those lyrics.

kirbypuckett (September 6, 2006)

I think Sickboi and I have different copies of this record than most other people because it kills. I swear it gets better and better each time I play it on ye 'ol iPod.

- Kirby

BizzleBrizzle (September 6, 2006)

there's like 3 or 4 duds on this, but the rest of it's pretty damn good.

Exit English really grew on me with time.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

One of the only worthwhile releases this year. Digging the new Falcon record as well. Year may be savaged yet.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

Great record. It's all I want/need from a record these days.

Anonymous (September 6, 2006)

i like the band but not their music...strange, isnt it??

ramo (September 6, 2006)

It's a good, poppy album by the band and something kind of refreshing for the Strike Anywhere fans. Those looking for the second coming of Jesus in this latest album should look elsewhere...like their back catalog for instance. A solid effort.

Ramo

telegraphrocks (September 6, 2006)

"After "Sedition", it's all downhill from there, but kids, that's the best song the band's made, in my opinion."

Well, Primeevil, people have different opinions. In MY opinion, "Sedition" is the 13th best song on this album, meaning there are twelve songs better.

So, "kids", this album is awesome. Fuck primeevil.

boba_fett (September 6, 2006)

very pleasently surprised. the songs i had hear werent amazing, but the cd as a whole is great.

score is for the cd and the croc hunter. respek.

LeightonESmith (September 5, 2006)

I'm just not feeling it.
It was one of my most anticipated for the year and now I have it, I'm having a tough time getting all the way through. The songs seem to run together, nothing stands out, its a little bit too soft and safe. From what I've been reading, its definately a "grower" so I'll give it a couple more chances.

onegirlarmy (September 5, 2006)

I enjoy this, not nearly as much as their previous albums though. Still, "Sedition", "The Promise" and "Prisoner Echoes" are all way awesome songs. I need to give it a few more listens.

chickswithdicks (September 5, 2006)

mm hmm.

EyesLikeBombs (September 5, 2006)

Speaking of Richmond, VA, what the hell is Jay Rollin's Funeral?

Fuzzy (September 5, 2006)

Brian, I've never met anyone who thought Exit English was their best except for you. This CD is good, but the music is a bit too polished/poppy and it doesn't sound urgent in the slightest, although the lyrics are fantastic. A solid seven.

inagreendase (September 5, 2006)

It's weird; all the internet punx call Chorus of One tops, but all the people I've talked to in person nod to Exit English like me.

Either way, this I think this is their worst, but there are some really good songs on here. The poppier edge does work, at least...for now.

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

I think the Inquisition rerelease is a much better purchase.

ThinMike (September 5, 2006)

Oh and JayTee i totally agree. The new Anti-Flag rips this thing to shreds on every level, and I've never really liked Anti-Flag before.

ThinMike (September 5, 2006)

I've listened to this record about 10 times now, and I can sum it up with one word: Forgettable. I can remember about 3 melodies or lyrics on the whole album and usually after that many listens I have a pretty good handle on a CD, but there are no good choruses, no diversity (that fast beat could be broken up within songs a bit more), and it all just kindof runs together.

Strike Anywhere has an amazing overall sound and it's definitely present here. The guitars, vocals, everything sound spot on.. it's just a shame that there isn't a hook to be found on the whole record, which would be expected with the band getting this poppy.

This band has yet to top Sunset on 32nd St. and I'm starting to lose hope that they ever will.

jamespastepunk (September 5, 2006)

After "Sedition", it's all downhill from there, but kids, that's the best song the band's made, in my opinion.

wyzo (September 5, 2006)

I kept this on in the background and remember 3/4th of the way through wanting to change what I was listening to, without realizing it was still this album.

I think this is probably better than the last one, which I liked but had a filler middle.

The same type of middle slump plagues this one, but a tad further on.

After Chorus of One, it turns out they were just too mellow and laid back for there own good. C'mon Thomas, put those cargo shorts away, drink Planes mistaken for stars blood for a pick me up.

Everyone Should give it a chance.

wyzo

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

Review is spot on

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

"Preacher/Pulpit"?? Sickboi, explain

mcgregor107 (September 5, 2006)

yes, yes, yes!!

kill_fftl (September 5, 2006)

very good

GlassPipeMurder (September 5, 2006)

yeah, this is good.

now let's get up the hellogoodbye review.

JayTee (September 5, 2006)

This album is really rad. Maybe I'll listen to it more later though. If I went back 3 years and told myself I'd be listening to a new Anti-Flag cd more than a new Strike Anywhere I'd have kicked my own ass. But it's true as of late.

coldwaffles (September 5, 2006)

Allies is my favorite track of the year.

MikeStupid (September 5, 2006)

As opposed to everyone else, I think the album actually improves in the second half. Allies, Iron Trees, House Arrest and Ballad Of Bloody Run are some of my favorites on the album.

baseball (September 5, 2006)

oldpunker:

yeah i was there, please tell me you were the old guy who said to me to during Strike Anywhere "most fun i've had without getting laid"

baseball (September 5, 2006)

Godfather:

YES, i was standing right next to that cat fight...they almost tumbled right into me

that was one of the greatest things i've ever at a show...i remember my thought process being "this looks interesting" then the punch was thrown and it was like "awwwww shit"

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

great as I expected it... great band on a great label with a great record... yeah... means, great! :-)

telegraphrocks (September 5, 2006)

Wonderful album. "Hollywood Cemetery" is my favorite, followed closely by "Ballad of Bloody Run".

And just adding, "Exit English" may be SA's least best effort, but it's still an awesome record.

changeisasound (September 5, 2006)

Good album, i haven thad time to let it sink in yet im sure it'll wear on me and i'll grow to like it more. I remember when i first heard the chorus of one e.p. i wasnt especially fond of it but i let it grow on me and its become one of my favorite e.p's

sickboi (September 5, 2006)

ChokingVictim -

If you are referring to the VA Beach show, that's pretty weak. I drove from Richmond right through Ernesto, and when I got to VA Beach it was all cleared up.

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

I agree with sickboi, allies is great, im leaning towards two thousand voices as my fav so far -oldpunker-

joeg (September 5, 2006)

it's definitely a lot more melodic and overall, i think it's a better record than exit english. prisoner echoes, how to pray, the promise and gunpowder are instant favorites of mine. thomas sounds excellent as always and his lyrics are poignant and thought provoking. but there's still one too many forgetable tracks on here, especially the 2nd half of the record with allies, house arrest, and ballad of bloody run. overall, a decent record and i can't wait to hear some of the new songs played live.

ChokingVictim (September 5, 2006)

Good CD, too bad I missed them last week, it was raining like a motherfucker and all the streets were flooded.

There are only a few bands I'd risk my life to see, and Strike Anywhere isn't one of them.

Godfather (September 5, 2006)

sunday's dc show was great but i hadn't learned all the words to dead fm so i was left out during some of the songs....anyone there early may have caught the cat fight near the entrance in between the first and second acts....one girl with short dikey hair got decked; it didnt last long but it was so funny when the one girl gets up and tries to start talking shit again....oh yeah, ignite and modern life is war put on a great show too....ignite's cover of johnny cash's judgement day was the highlight of the night

DarrenMcLeod (September 5, 2006)

Remember when the guitarist of this band won the Gilette Sexiest Face contest or something like that? That was crazy.

wagner1979 (September 5, 2006)

The more I listen to it, the more I like it.
i'm the Biggest S.A. fan...and this album is exactly what I wanted.
Can't wait for Toronto, Hamilton, Buffalo shows!!!
the slow trickle of live reviews so far sound awesome.

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

Wow, after a few listens, this is great...I have a few favorites already that stand out, but overall, muuuuuch more melodic than Exit..im gettin' this on the way home from work today-oldpunker-
ps- anyone go to the dc show sunday night?

jockmcbored (September 5, 2006)

"Posted by GreatStoryOfApathy on 2006-09-05 13:36:51
My Score:

I haven't found a track like Sunset or To The World on this cd yet. That's when I like this band most. Still a good cd, just not what I was expecting."

Sunset is probably their best ever song

jockmcbored (September 5, 2006)

some decent songs but it sounds like the rage has gone. sounds more like a pop-punk record

baseball (September 5, 2006)

score is for the show on Sunday in DC...Ignite/Strike Anywhere were fantastic, one of the best shows of the year

unfortunately i can't rate this album yet because they sold out of them at the show before i could get it!!

i'll undoubtedly be picking it up on my way home from work today

sickboi (September 5, 2006)

That's exactly how I felt. After my first few listens, there were maybe 4 songs I was skipping to. But the more I listen the better of a flow it has. The only song I really do not like is that "Preacher/Pulpit" one, the chorus really annoys me.

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

whoops. that comment below was me.

-R3venge Therapy

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

I can't really say what I'd score this album just yet, seeing as I've only had it since yesterday, but I love it. I've listened to it probably about 6 or 7 times already, and I agree with what you've said. There's undoubtably an emphasis on melody, and I think that's for the better. I think there are a couple songs that could have been left off of it to make it stronger, but there's nothing wrong with the flow. It's definitely the winner I expected it to be. It's just taking a bit more time to grow on me because there were only a few songs that REALLY stood out upon the first couple listens, but it's sounding better and better the more I listen.

threechordsandthetruth (September 5, 2006)

Good record, more developed than Exit English and some better tracks.

colin (September 5, 2006)

can't say i agree on this one. there's nothing on this album that makes me think i shouldn't just go put on change is a sound or exit english. it's another strike anywhere record... which, is a good thing, but nothing new or exciting and it's becoming somewhat trite. almost too easy.

that being said, it's still solid for what it is.

sickboi (September 5, 2006)

it doesn't even sound like they're trying after track seven

You're nuts. "Hollywood Cemetary" and "Allies" are both great songs.

danperrone (September 5, 2006)

this album shouldn't get more than three stars

it doesn't even sound like they're trying after track seven

GreatStoryOfApathy (September 5, 2006)

I haven't found a track like Sunset or To The World on this cd yet. That's when I like this band most. Still a good cd, just not what I was expecting.

Anonymous (September 5, 2006)

this record is great, the falcon songs are better though. is that out today too?

Mute98 (September 5, 2006)

strike anywhere i think is better off as a melodic band with some "harder" moments.. i never found chorus of one or CIAS to be that aggressive

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