This longtime European hardcore/rock mainstay band has intrigued me much over the past few years. Although this is the band's first domestic release in the U.S (this is their sixth full-length), they haven't been a completely foreign name due to their tenure on Epitaph Europe. Anyway, as with any band that's been hitting hard for a long time, the BEATSTEAKS sound has evolved from a decidedly hardcore stance to some more dynamic and heavier on the stadium-rock influences. At times, vocalist Arnim Teutoburg can shred the same way Milo Aukerman of the DESCENDENTS could carry a hook, and then shift to the deeper tension boiled up in an Eddie Vedder like approach (not in that 'errr-uh' kinda way). But the BEATSTEAKS are so much more than a band being led by strong vocals as their rhythm section is genuinely interesting and very diverse all the while staying under the "rock" umbrella. There's at least three "singles" buried on here that born and bred catchy, most specifically, "Let Me In" (as heard on "Punk O Rama 7"), and "Run Run," but in all reality, the catchiness of each and every track is super. Anthemic and well postured, "To Be Strong" is the kind of song that compliments a cross-country drive that goes late into the night. In the quest to conquer one's goals at all costs, this is the kind of energetic prize that could motivate people by the herds. Pristine, thick production adds an even greater professional sound to "Living Targets" marking it one of the most complete albums I've heard all year.
-Jordan A. Baker
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