Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Strike: A Conscience Left to Struggle with Pockets Full of Rust

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!



  2. Terrific post! The Strike were a great band, and deserve all of the exposure they can get. They eventually moved from MPLS to Chicago, and they had a practice space in the same building as my band, Trepan Nation. We'd already known them from around the scene, especially 'cos TN and D4 played together more than a few times, so we had a MPLS connection...

    in 2001, The Strike broke up at around the same time that Trepan Nation did, and three of us joined up with Chad to form the Treason Brothers, a stab at playing something in the alt-country vein that we were all more interested in exploring at that time. It fell apart after a year or two, but it was a lot of fun while it lasted. You can hear the demo tracks that we recorded below.

  3. Holmes
    Thanks for the good words, the interesting back story and the great music. If you have a cover scan I'd love to post this demo - it sounds so good.

  4. Ha can't find my copy of this anywhere and you go and post it. Brilliant just made my day you're a diamond jeff cheers.

  5. Listening to this just now. Really hitting the spot. So thank you.

  6. one of my favourites from the 90's . I only had this on a home made cassette back then , I still hope to come across a the lp one day . looking forward to checking the "folkcore" demo out . Great post !

  7. Marky
    Glad to have done some day-making - this album need to get the hell back-in-print!

    You're welcome!

    yeah I wished I'd got an L.P. copy back when it would have been easy!

  8. Never heard of this band, but love classic SLF (my favorite "classic" punk band) so had to give this a try. It's fantastic, and really sounds right out of '78- '79. Obviously very influenced by SLF. May lose some points on originality because of this, but good music is good music regardless. Thanks for turning me onto this.

  9. MisterManiac
    You're ever-so welcome, It is fair to say that The Strike pilfered lots from SLF, though SLF pilfered from the Clash who pilfered a lot from the Ramones etc etc.)

  10. Hey, these guys are great!

    Folkcore. Has possibilities.

    Like the sensibilities too.

  11. Bio
    Now if we could just get Holmes to send us a cover scan we could make a post of the Treason Brothers.

  12. I lived with the Anderson brothers (Chad and Chris) in Minneapolis for a while. They really played the hell out of every gig, hope they are making music somewhere, still, since they had so much talent.

  13. hey jeff,
    i know the umpires declined the tape going up, but do you know anywhere i can get my hands on it beyond myspace streamshit?

  14. Chris,
    Maybe go visit Music Trader on Saturday afternoon and hassle Andy for a copy (or to let me post it!)

  15. Hi,
    I am searching for ages now for a contact to the Strike,the email I had from Chris is not workin anymore.Please help me out:


  16. I saw these guys at a shitty warehouse in Cincinnati called the SOB (Southern Ohio Beef) back in '98 I think. I'm pretty sure my band at the time, The Chemo Kids, opened for them. I fucking love this album! Thank you!


    1. Welcome. What were the Chemo Kids like?

  17. hello. used some of your pics for my blog. check out the strike's interview @ cheers!

    1. Hey, you are welcome to do so. Thanks for publishing that amazing interview (esp. that discography!)


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