Strike Anywhere: Dead FM

Strike Anywhere
Dead FM
Fat Wreck Chords

These indefatigable Virginia punks titled their third studio full-length Dead FM, but when frontman Thomas Barnett divulges that "our trust in this system's dead" in opener "Sedition," he's not talking about the crappy state of corporate radio. Strike Anywhere aim higher than that: "This country's in distress," Barnett explains in "Prisoner Echoes," "from the schools to the factories on the dead edge of town."

Yep, Barnett and his bandmates are good old-fashioned political punks, the kind you'd swear no longer exist if MySpace is where you turn for your eight o'clock rock block. Dead FM is about "preachers from the pulpits of power" and "powers determined to fake the news," as well as "static quotations" and "historical lies" (and how they "don't mean nothing.") It's also about breakneck one-two-three-four drumbeats, buzzsaw guitar fuzz, and as many whoa-oh-ohs as you'll hear in an afternoon at the Warped Tour. Indeed, now that Strike Anywhere have exchanged the relatively artsy confines of emo-identified Jade Tree for NOFX frontman Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords—where no Minor Threat rip goes unrewarded—they seem more committed to their proudly old-school sound than ever.

That doesn't mean that parts of Dead FM wouldn't have worked better on a bumper sticker than an album. (Or in a CD's liner notes: Barnett's account of his grandfather's work on the Manhattan Project is more compelling than the song it inspired.) But at the moment, we're in need of serious, passionate troublemakers like this. Call up 93X and tell 'em what's what.

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