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Albums That Will #$@&%*! Your Face Off in 2017: Striker – Striker

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It’s a new year, and you know what that means — it’s time for MetalSucks’ seventh annual new year preview, Albums That Will #$@&%*! Your Face Off! As with previous years, we won’t be spotlighting all the great releases coming out this year, but, rather, concentrating on lesser-known bands whose new releases might otherwise escape your attention. Look for these posts by assorted MetalSucks staffers throughout the week. We hope you enjoy ‘em!

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Striker
Striker (Record Breaking Records)
February 24

Striker hail from Edmonton, so I’m going to assume that a “striker” is a hockey and/or sex position. Along with fellow Canuck killers like Cauldron and Skull Fist, Striker proudly fly the flag of traditional heavy metal, crafting a platonic ideal of the style that pulls in elements from NWOBHM, thrash, and Shrapnel shred. Hell, the song that got me to take notice of them in the first place was an instrumental called “Escape from Shred City” off last year’s Stand in the Fire – mostly because it lived up to the name.

A scant year later, they’re spreading the disease once more with a self-titled effort on their own Record Breaking Records. This time, they’ve amped up the Anthrax influence – not that that wasn’t always part of their chemical makeup, but it’s much more apparent here. Songs like “Pass Me by” feature the kind of gang vocals and chugging riffs that exemplify the work of the New York-based member of the storied Big Four. Still, it feels organic – homage instead of pastiche. Their ultra-melodic shred feels distinct, one of the things that places them at the vanguard of the backwards-looking. Despite the music conjuring images of hightop sneakers and poodle haircuts, the production and attitude set it firmly in present day. And with sing-alongs as catchy as “Former Glory” and “Born to Lose” (but they’re living to win), you won’t care when it was recorded. You’ll be too busy giving yourself whiplash.

That, according to vocalist Dan Grafton, was the intent. We reached out to him to find out why he thought Striker was going to fuck your face off, and he put it pretty succinctly:

“This album is like Snake Plissken surfing a tsunami, it’s fuckin rad! This one’s for the people who want to kick life’s ass and have a good time. There’s a lot of bullshit around these days and sometimes you just need tunes to bang your head to!”

Mission accomplished. Until you can hear it for yourself (and get an ill-advised tattoo of that bitchin’ album cover) on February 24 (pre-order it here!), check out the lyric video for “Born to Lose” below and get pumped.

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