Me and Punk don't talk much anymore. I mean, like, we were totally close for so many years, but these days when I need that jittery spark of energy, a musical kickstart, I just listen to hiphop. Sure, there was a time when I'd lose Chuck Taylors in mosh pits (much to my mom's chagrin), but nowadays the idea of going anywhere near a pit is downright offensive to me. Where would I put my beer? Would I have to uncross my arms and move from my cynical perch in the back of the venue? That is so not happening. Sorry Punk, there's just something about the late 20s, a mortgage, and the sobering realization that moshing makes everyone look like a total clown. It's not personal—oh wait, I'm sorry, it's totally personal.
If it wasn't for Strike Anywhere, my punk intake of these past half-dozen years would be limited to Dischord re-issues and a couple all-ages merch table LPs—which looking back on them, were just pity purchases to put gas in some poor touring band's tank. Simply put, Strike Anywhere is the lone exception to my irreconcilable differences with punk music.
Hailing from the blue-collar Richmond punk scene, Strike Anywhere is a band more likely to sing/scream about the struggle to piece together a living wage than the typical squabbles of scene politics or quaint teenage rebellion. There is no pandering here, no predictable nostalgia for punk's salad days; instead there is just that unrelenting Strike Anywhere sound, their militant leftist stance, and most importantly, their overall sense of importance. Perhaps the appeal of Strike Anywhere lies in their reluctance to choose sides, as they are too committed to melody to join up with Team Hardcore, and too damn fast to settle in the pop-punk gutter.
I'm not alone in this either. I know more than a few indie nerds with Pet Sounds boxsets who have Strike Anywhere hoodies hidden somewhere deep within their closets. None of us want to slam the door on Punk forever, and Strike Anywhere is a resonating reminder of all the excitement and danger the genre once challenged us with. So when the band takes the all-too-small stage at Satryicon on Friday, I'll be there, but positioned way in the back. Maybe I'll be next to the few token parents cool enough to accompany their kids to a concert. And kids, you can trust me to hold your LPs while you mosh, I couldn't care less about punk music. Your records are safe with me; now go have some fun.
Strike Anywhere perform at Satyricon on Friday, February 2.