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Strung Out
Element of Sonic Defiance

by Samuel Barker
June 18, 2000

File Under: Rock/Experimental
rating: B+

1. Mission To Mars

2. Scarecrow

3. Savant

4. Blew

5. Everyday

6. Razorblad

7. Jackie-O

8. Mephisto

related links
  • Strung Out
  • Fat Wreck Chords
  • The newest release from So-Cal punk band Strung Out is an enjoyable album. This album illustrates the way the band has progressed over the years as songwriters and performers. The Element Of Sonic Defiance is a great EP. It's 8 songs in 25 minutes and rocks you hard. You can hear the experince they picked up being on the Vans Warped Tour and playing with bands such as NOFX and Pennywise. This album is a nice mix of borderline hardcore, straight punk rock, and melodic poppy punk.

    The album begins with noise from a control room, and some interesting lines from a film saying "There is no way I'm hurdling through space in that strung out ferris wheel." The album then kicks directly into "Mission To Mars". This track is fast, furious, and get the blood flowing early.

    The next track is "Scarecrow." It's got a nice sound with a hint of metal influence. The vocals are a lot softer, and the song is more melodic than "Mission To Mars". The album then kicks it down a notch and goes into "Savant". This song is melodic, but kicks at the same time. It's a strong song.

    "Blew" starts with a sorta low-fi sounding vocal track, and kicks into an almost alternative guitar vocal sound, then it gives way to a stronger sound, but hits more like an alternative track. It's bad by no means, it's actually a really good song.

    "Razorblade" is a slower song, and has a nice melodic sound. It's nice that the band is willing to branch out in different areas instead of just trying to be a hardcore or just be a melodic punk band.

    "Jackie-O" is a cool track. It's got a fuzzy sound at the intro to kinda give you the since of the old Zaprader film. It's very melodic, and is about the JFK assasination. The final track is "Mephisto", which fittingly has a sorta sinister sound, that gives into a pop sound, back into a hard sound. When the lyrics start the song is musically hard, but the vocals take the edge off. Which is nice. The chorus is very melodic, and makes for a great contrast in the album.

    I recommend picking this EP up from Fat Wreck Chords. It will be released on the 20th of June. It's a very string release from a promising young So-Cal punk band. Strung-out will be on tour for a while this summer, be sure to check them out. Through the meshing of all the different musical styles, Strung Out makes a very enjoyable album to listen to, and does a fine job of showcasing their talents.

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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