The 80s were a great time for metal. Maybe even the best. And there are plenty of bands that spend their entire careers reliving the glory of big hair, big riffs and epic choruses. Striker are one of these bands.
City of Gold (Napalm) is the Canadian group’s third album. While the retro scene is full of denim and leather types trying to recapture the magic, Striker have a certain energy about them that stops it all becoming too kitsch. What the four-piece lack in originality they make up for with energy and quality song writing; it’s all high-octane drumming and fret-busting solos, gang vocals and soaring sing-alongs. Guitarists Tim Brown and Chris Segger provide the heavy metal thunder – mixing classic Iron Maiden-esque riffs with a speed metal tempo, while Dan Cleary has an impressive set of pipes that could pass for Bruce Dickinson, Bon Jovi or Rob Halford depending on the song.
There’s generally three settings Striker come in: The galloping power metal epic with the likes of ‘Start Again,’ the big melodic stadium rockers such as ‘Bad Decisions,’ and the fast speed metal numbers in vein of ‘Underground’ or ‘Second Attack’. It’s completely unapologetic in its love of the 80s, but it’s entertaining enough that it doesn’t matter.
City of Gold doesn’t have an original moment in it. But it’s still an enjoyable ride. If 44 minutes of big riffs, fist-pumping choruses and 80s metal in general sounds like your thing, Striker will give you everything you need. Yes there’s plenty of cheese, but it’s all so catchy it’s hard not to get sucked in.