Band recommendation – Strung Out

Strung Out Album ColageIn my eyes, one of the best bands ever. I can safely say throughout my entire musical life, Strung Out has been one of the most influential bands I’ve ever heard. If you’re looking for something punk, or fast, or melodic, or hardcore then Strung Out will deliver. I have a huge amount of respect for these guys. They have never ever disappointed me with their albums. And that’s why I decided to dedicate this post to them. I bow down to you Strung Out.

Let’s start with my history with Strung Out. A long time ago when I was in high school I first heard Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (Strung Out’s second full length album on Fat Wreck Chords). Right then and there I was blown away and punk was now my favorite musical genre. Sure, I listened to some other punk bands before Strung Out but they never really made me say, “So this is punk? Fuck yeah!” This Strung Out CD was amazing. Fast, tight, melodic, and of course it featured one of their most famous songs ever, Bring Out Your Dead. Ask any Strung Out fan one of their favorite songs and Bring Out Your Dead will be one of them.

Soon after Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues, Strung Out released Twisted By Design in 1998. Back then I was in a punk band and our drummer got a copy of this new album. He told us, guys this CD rocks and we need to play like this. Twisted By Design was a huge musical influence on me and my band back in high school. It was very technical, meaning there was no simple three chord songs here. The guitar work and harmonizing alone was amazing. Twisted By Design also brought some of Strung Out’s most famous songs today including Mind of My Own and Ultimate Devotion. Check out their Mind of My Own music video (don’t you just love low budget punk videos?):

Soon after I saw Strung Out in concert up here in Phoenix. They played with few other bands including Bueno, Cigar, and Pennywise. With Cigar and Pennywise being some of my other favorite bands at the time, the show kicked ass and I’ll always remember it as being one of the best shows I’ve ever been to.

Moving on, in 2000 Strung Out released a “different” album called Element of Sonic Defiance. Why do I call it different? Well, because compared to their previous CDs, this new CD came with a new musical style. While Strung Out was mostly a fast melodic So-Cal punk band, some of their most famous and best songs were slower, darker, and more hardcore. Element of Sonic Defiance contained 8 songs, most of which were like this. I can tell you it did throw everyone off including me. We kind of didn’t know what to think about this new album. Listening to it for the first few weeks we were all like….eh. But the album grew on us. Their new style grew on us. And a few weeks later this was my favorite Strung Out CD ever. Some people still don’t like this CD, but to this day I still think it’s one of their best. If you can, find their song called Mission to Mars. The drum work is amazing.

Ah yes, and let’s not forget Rainbow Studios and their motocross video games. I’m mainly talking about Motocross Madness and ATV Offroad Fury. Why? Well, someone who works (or used to work) at Rainbow Studios really liked Strung Out. If you still have a copy of Motocross Madness for your PC, slap it in and go to the credits screen. There’s some awesome background music for ya! Strung Out’s Deville to be exact. And with ATV Offroad Fury’s soundtrack came two (2) Strung Out songs from Element of Sonic Defiance; Scarecrows and Mephisto. It made playing those games that much better. And even to this day when I listen to Element of Sonic Defiance, I remember playing ATV Offroad Fury with my buddies.

After Strung Out’s EP they came out with another full length album called An American Paradox. Another amazing album. While they did lighten up a little bit on their dark hardcore-ness, the band’s own unique style was still there. The band was expanding, evolving, or becoming more talented with their song creations. An American Paradox soon became another one of my favorite CDs. How much did I like it? Well there are only two albums in this world where I can play the entire album on my guitar. They include Pennywise: Full Circle and Strung Out: An American Paradox. With this CD came another amazing song called Cemetery. Check it out:

By this time I’ve seen Strung Out in concert more times than I can remember. I’ve easily seen this band more than any other band ever. Every time they come into the Phoenix area, I go and see them. I don’t care if I’ve seen them a hundred times, they never disappoint and they never get old.

Moving on to Strung Out’s latest album called Exile in Oblivion which was released in 2004. What do you think I’m going to say about this album? Yeah, it rocks. Again, I was just amazed with what I heard. The band’s own unique style was evolving some more. With every album they’ve gotten more technical and more complex. These guys have been together a long time and they know how to create music together. Exile in Oblivion is no different. It still holds their unique style and while it is a little darker than An American Paradox, there are still plenty of fast melodic elements to it. Some of my favorite songs on this CD include Analog, Katatonia, Her Name in Blood, Lucifermotorcade, and Vampires. Jason’s (lead singer) lyrics and melodies are amazing and by far the best in this CD. Check out the video to Analog below:

In the end I decided these guys deserve a spot on my web site. Being one of my favorite bands ever is one thing, but being one of my greatest musical influences for the majority of my musical life means something much more. Thanks guys for all that you’ve done and created and here’s to the future. I cannot wait to hear what’s next!

Nick Villescas

I'm an IT professional, musician, and PC gamer with a particular fondness of all things tech-related. Feel free to connect with me on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

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