Strike Anywhere Exit English

In a pretty bold move that deserves kudos in and of itself, Virginia-based punk darlings Strike Anywhere break with the by-the-numbers melodic hardcore of their three-year-old debut and take a few musical chances by slowing down the tempos and revisiting the old-school punk of the late ‘70s — most evident on tracks like "5th Estate" and "We Amplify.” That's not to say they've completely abandoned the thrash attack they're best known and loved for. Tracks like "New Architects" and "Aluminum Union" skip along like Good Riddance on speed. But the growth in the past three years is evident throughout the disc both musically and lyrically. Three years into the George W. Bush reign, the band has plenty to say about the state of their nation. Exit English is a commanding album that will either turn off fans or win the band scores of new ones. I'm betting on the latter. (Jade Tree)