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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Strike Anywhere
To Live in Discontent
Jade Tree Records

Rating: 8/10 ?

March 15, 2005
I could go a while without hearing another song about heartbreaking girls. I could go a while without hearing a half-baked metaphor about some emo singer wanting to kill his girlfriend (but not like really kill). That shit's just not potent anymore. That's why to put on a Strike Anywhere CD is always refreshing. The group cuts through all pretense and delivers straightforward leftist politics with the subtlety of a buzz saw.

One of the best things about Strike Anywhere's lyrical approach is that they don't preach like a straight laced holier than thou hardcore band would, and they don't whine like a limp emo band. They deliver odes and anthems to change that are inclusive and triumphant. I'll take music with relevance and urgency over odes to an ex any day.

Strike Anywhere has always managed a firm grasp on melody and aggression. Therefore, the group's songs have always invited singalongs and encouraged even the timid to join in. To Live in Discontent is the Richmond group's first collection of odds and ends - what that amounts to is the group's breathtaking, dynamic and powerful debut EP, Chorus of One, sandwiched between a bunch of rare comp and cover songs.

Compilations of old material are the trick of the trade in underground rock. To get all the hard to find tracks together on one disc and put off a bit of time between the next release. While fair, it usually amounts to a less than stellar product of throwaway and filler.

As is usually the case, the covers of Gorilla Biscuits, Dag Nasty and Cocksparrer are the lesser tracks on this release. In that way, it ends with less steam than it began with. So, To Live in Discontent doesn't hit as hard as most of the group's full lengths, but it's not without it's merit - the inclusion of the debut EP makes this album nearly essential. However, the opener "Asleep," and later, "Two Fuses," are just as strong as anything the group has ever released.

Whether offering old, new or rare material, Strike Anywhere is still the best at what they do. To Live in Discontent, even with its fair share of filler, is still music by the best melodic political hardcore band around.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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