Stretch Arm Strong - _Rituals of Life_
(Independent, 1999)
by: Alex Cantwell (8.5 out of 10)
Despite their name (remember that toy?), Stretch Arm Strong are a "serious" hardcore band who have not abandoned the influence that punk had on hardcore, because the songs on _Rituals of Life_ are lively and bouncy, not dark like most modern hardcore bands. Due to this fact, the listener cannot help but to be drawn into these songs, and I am willing to bet that these guys are a very exciting live band. As I stated above, these songs are not dark or menacing, but that is not to say that they are lacking in rage, as heard in vocalist Chris McLane's ranting and yelling. The use of acoustic guitar, piano and clean vocals adds something special to _RoL_, and also showcases the talent of this band. This is the best hardcore band that I have ever heard of, and I will actively pursue all of their previous releases.

(article published 9/12/1999)


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