Edmonton, Alberta’s Striker play hair metal. Well, that’s not entirely true. Their honed and tempered brand of empowering high-energy metallic rock also draws from American speed metal’s tempos, from jockey hardcore’s beat-down groove, and drummer Adam Brown at least employs death metal’s pummeling double bass. For the most part, though, Striker’s clean guitar leads and layered vocal harmonies sound like the most commercialized shredders of the 80’s.
And they sound awesome, as the lyric video for “Born to Lose” will attest. Without big money bullshit (the quartet’s 100% independent) they’ve struck an ideal balance between nostalgic hooks and blue collar work ethic on their forthcoming self-titled record. They aren’t the first band to mine this vein — both Sumerlands and High Spirits bring back these sounds without irony or pretense, but Striker do so with the most sonic clarity and the most pristine musicianship.
Which isn’t to say the band only has rose-tinted glasses for Aquanet bands. “Born to Lose” is an obvious tribute to Lemmy after his passing, even though it sounds a little more like Paul Stanley’s “Live to Win” than anything Motorhead ever wrote.