Strung Out are back with a vengeance on
The Element Of Sonic Defiance, a tight and engaging punk record.
These veterans of the skate-punk circuit have enough experience
to be sure. They've released three full-length a lbums and
2 EPs prior to this. They've also spent a couple of summers
ou t on the Warped Tour and playing with So-Cal contemporaries
such as NOFX, Bad Religion, Pennywise...you get the drift,
right? One thing about Strung Out, they're tight as Hell and
yield a high-octane brand of punk.
Beginning with a sci-fi sample, "Mission
To Mars" bursts into sonic defia nce to be sure. Their tight
punk constructs frequently make your head wa nna bob. Their
talent for "breaking it down" into tight drum digressions
adds to the element of chaos. Drummer Jordan Burns continues
to exhibit his stellar abilities on the tight "Scarecrow."
But tightness just does n't follow the drummer: the dual guitar
attack of Jake Kiley and Robert R amos is so tight that sometimes
it's hard to know there's two guitarists. It is definitely
a power building situation. "Scarecrow" flows into "Savant"
without missing a beat. Again, power is key, as Jason's Cruz's
vocals build to a roar without him entering the shouting world.
That's control. His tone augments the melodic flow of "Everyday
Game" perfectly. After another intriguing drum intro, guitar
assumes a larger melodic role for "Razorblade." They throw
in a metal guitar solo segment that just p ops in out of nowhere,
catching you extremely off-guard. "Blew" continue s to demonstrate
their ability to create thick melodic punk ala The Clash 2E
This is not Green Day styled pop based punk. This is prime
Brit pun k-pop, a much fuller and thicker punk that hinges
less on speed and more on melody and over-all power. It ends
with another quirky sci-fi sample. Let's not forget to mention
Chris Aiken's powerfully driving bass propu lsion. "Jackie-O"
lets him start out with a fat progression. His speedy playing
helps the band maintain that power for the whole EP.
Strung Out is a perfect example of solid
stake punk. Their tightness is one of their strongest assets
as it allows them to assert their power eff ectively. If they
were sloppier, the power of their melodic progressions and
influences would be lost in the mush. This is a prime specimen
of t rue, modern Southern California punk. What do you wanna
bet that they ar e a huge blast to see live? If you're strung
out and need a punk fix, bu y this EP, it should do the trick.
1. Mission To Mars
5. Everyday Game