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Album Review: Striking Back - The Restless EP

Jordan Thompson (here under the name Striking Back), hailing from the ever-famous city of Seattle, has teamed up with producer Jim Wirt (Incubus, Hoobastank, Jack's Mannequin), celebrated for his skill at transforming standard pop-rock songs into powerhouse anthems for his debut. And certainly, it'll be difficult to argue against it on this occasion with Striking Back's debut EP "The Restless EP".

Thompson cites Michael Jackson, Nirvana and Bryan Adams as influences. Whereas the former two first might be hard to defend, every single song on this EP could easily defy some of Adams' greatest hits on the level of cheesiness, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. While title track "The Restless" will remind the listener of many a post-grunge band, "Dark Day Afternoon" confidently asserts its pop credibility and loses some of the ambition to rock your face off. While this may sound like a bad choice to most, the song works well, the hooks are effortless and it's hard not to nod away at the simple beats.

"Falling" sees Thompson 'emoan' (oh yes I did) his way throughout. However, at this point, the listener may already feel like there is little ground to be made by the aspiring rock star. "Dream On" is essentially immemorable and "Over Now" does little to heighten the bar back to the simple, effective level of "Dark Day Afternoon". In fact, Thompson seems to acknowledge the fact that it is his most solid song, gracing the listener with an acoustic version, which ultimately feels a bit pointless.

There is nothing bad about this outfit, but if you're in search of new exciting territories then look away now, but if you like your pop-rock slightly darker than say, All-American Rejects, then you might as well catch them/him while it's there.


'The Restless EP' by Striking Back is released on June 15th.

Striking Back on MySpace and Twitter.

James Berclaz-Lewis

Alter The Press!