Thirty Six Strategies

Thirty Six Strategies
“Strategy One” CD (Boss Tuneage Records) 2013
By Rich Cocksedge 

Thirty Six Strategies are a relatively new group featuring the old and young within its ranks.  The old include those who have been in bands such as Decadence Within and Shutdown whereas the young comes in the form of Kirsty Harding, the waif like vocalist, who has the task of fronting a band which chucks out quite a meaty musical concoction.

In terms of the vocals it could go one of two ways; a screaming, banshee like attack or a more restrained and melodic delivery, and it’s the latter in terms of the route Thirty Six Strategies take.  This is clearly hardcore that takes the occasional cue from the melodic output of the late 1980’s, with influences from the USA as well as from within the UK too; a bit like crossing Government Issue with HDQ to provide the basics around which the sound was built.  With the band having a female singer there is are other comparisons that arise through some of these songs, and that is to Hammerbox and Goodness, both fronted by Carrie Akre, and both featuring a melodic rock approach, which is occasionally to be found when listening to this release.

Across the six featured songs, Thirty Six Strategies keep things on an even keel, with a suite of solid mid- to up-tempo songs, which never falter in the level of consistency.  All of the tracks benefit from some above par musicianship and song writing, with Harding’s vocals add a mellowing tone which is always engaging and never dull.  The guitars come across extremely well and the rhythm section is far from being a staid element of the music, adding enough of its own identity to the songs.  All of the above yields quite a catchy and toe tapping outcome, which should appeal to anyone who likes their punk with a healthy dose of tuneage.

This release was hastily put together by Boss Tuneage when the original plans for another label to release the tracks on vinyl fell through at a late stage, so hats off to Aston Stephens (Boss Tuneage Head Honcho) for picking up the baton and running with it so quickly, thus ensuring it got the band’s music out where it deserves to be.