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February 14, 2005

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With the release of To Live in Discontent, Strike Anywhere treat their fans to an album full of B-sides, covers, previously unreleased songs and tracks from their out of print EP, Chorus Of One. Covers on the album include the Cock Sparrer's "Where Are They Now?", Dag Nasty's "Values Here," and the Gorilla Biscuits' "Two Sides," which was recorded live.

Hailing from Richmond, the band had the benefit of being exposed to the harDCore sound that existed just up I-95 as well as influences from UK punk bands such as Cock Sparrer given the "Oi! Oi! Oi!" yells on "Cassandratic Equation."

The track "Sunspotting" reportedly comes from the band's 1999 demo tape. Though the production isn't the greatest, the song does provide an early look at the band's sound and their penchant for writing lyrics that challenge the conventions of the federal government and other authorities while urging listeners to wake up and act.

The melodic opening track, "Antidote," gives way to a blistering delivery of lyrics by Thomas Barnett as he ponders a plan of attack: "Will we bide our time afraid? Will we wait or overthrow?"

"Earthbound" clocks in at just over one minute in length, but it manages to pack in enough anger to make a song three times as long. Though likely written prior to the current war in Iraq, the lyrics "Death and killing are in control while a leader is smiling, no thoughts for the people," could be relevant for past and present conflicts alike.

Strike Anywhere has a strong following and its long-time fans will enjoy hearing the non-studio album releases on To Live in Discontent. However, for the casual fan, it may be best to start with one of their proper releases.

Big Yawn