Soon after I started playing “Play To Win”, the new album from Edmonton metal band Striker, a simple question popped into my head: “How come this is the first time I’m hearing these guys?” Mea culpa, as they say. (That’s about all I’ve got to show for 3 years of Latin in high school)
Their press release claims that Striker is for “fans of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest”, and frankly, I was ready to call bullshit on that lofty claim. But few bands have managed to hit that 80’s metal vibe like Striker, although they’ve also infused it with a heavy dose of hair metal that may turn off
no fun people metal purists. Their loss.
It’s their 6th full length album, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. But “Play To Win” is a super fun record, filled with great melodic hooks and killer guitar riffs. The songwriting is excellent, although I don’t think it ever gets to that Maiden/Priest classic level, but not many bands have ever hit that benchmark. “Heavy Is The Heart”is pretty amazing though. If these guys had been active in the 80’s, they’d be a staple of summer tour packages to this day.
If you like 80’s rock with big guitars, or metal that’s fun in general, check out Striker and crank it up. You won’t regret it, I promise. Now excuse me, I have a catalog to explore.