My career as a promoter was limited to three shows: an experimental art quintet who shall remained unnamed, a Latin America benefit show catered by Food Not Bombs and Minneapolis’ (via Winnipeg) mod-punk band The Strike featuring Chad Anderson on guitar/vocals Chris Anderson on drums, bassist Kris Adams and second guitarist Micah Garlich-Miller.
Garlich-Miller, the other "member" of my – uh-hum – "band", Jane Fonda and the Hondas, had asked me personally to book the show. So, Winnipeg being a small town, I asked one friend to book The Orange (an old Orangeman’s hall that had fallen into the hands of a theater collective), one to lend me his P.A. and another bunch to be the opening bands. Then we rounded up the volunteers (sound, posters and, of course, concessions) and soon enough, just like Mickey Rooney and Judy Fuckin’ Garland, we “put-on-a-show”. It killed! The bands rocked, everyone got paid and a stack of canned goods made it back to Winnipeg Harvest.
Those opening bands, The Bonaduces (discography here) and The Umpires (who politely declined to have their demo here), were still finding their legs but The Strike cruised. They donned the suits, ran through a dozen thundering originals, played two Jam covers and hawked a demo tape with a red star on it. Yup, in 1995 a Mod Revival Revival.
The Strike, along with the Odd Numbers and The Gain (with bands, one is an accident, two a coincidence but three is a movement!) were conscious throwbacks to the sounds of ’79. Mod revival (a.k.a. parka-punk) has an unfair reputation for derivitiveness but A Conscience Left to Struggle with a Pockets Full of Rust is no rip-off. In fact, this raging album owes as much or more to Woody Guthrie and The Clash as it does to Paul Weller. “"Kicking Ass" for the working class” is the rabble-rousing motto here, as Chad Anderson raspily excoriates a "Shallow", buckled culture. Propulsive Stiff Little Fingers-esque guitar riffs and inter-weaving backing vocals consistently ratchet up the tension on this already maddeningly tense brace of songs. Then come the reggae flashes on songs like “Downpressor Man” before the (vinyl version) of the album ends with a cover of an old Northern Soul raver, “You Can Forget It”. Enjoy this criminally MIA album you lucky bastards!
A Conscience Left to Struggle with Pockets Full of Rust link is in the comments
To hear the folk-core (sorry, my bad term) band, The Treason Brothers, that Chad Anderson formed after the Strike go here. (Thanks Holmes!)
Speaking of comments: Does this album "Kick Ass" or not?
The Strike's excellent second album is still available from Victory Records
Thanks to CallPastorBob for the scans!