Strung Out

Strung Out


Fat Wreck Chords

Rating: 4/5




What can be said about Strung Out that hasn’t been said before?  The long running band is just about one of the only groups to successfully live with one foot firmly planted in the melodic punk camp, and the other just as notably rooted in the high flying theatrics of speed metal.  The result makes Strung Out a true underground gem that never ceases to wildly entertain captive audiences.  Their latest full length, Transmission.Alpha.Delta, furthers the California quintet’s legacy with the ferocity and precision that has become a given after twenty five years on the circuit.

Transmission.Alpha.Delta defines itself as one of the most cohesive Strung Out albums in a good while.  Where as Blackhawks Over Los Angeles and Agents Of The Underground placed particular focus on individual tracks, Transmission.Alpha.Delta lends itself well to a strong cross-album sound.  There are some absolutely gargantuan guitar solos propping up the apex of songs like “Black Maps” and “Rebellion Of The Snakes,” they land as smooth as a knife through freshly warmed butter – cutting sharp and with hungry precision.  Jason Cruz’s flawless vocal harmonies buzz hard alongside a whirlwind of melodic gang vocals and jackhammer of hard rock punches.  Take the never-look-back, headstrong mentality of “The Animal And The Machine;” with dynamic and exhilarating chord progressions and a borderline southern drawl, Cruz and company shift into overdrive and never lift their foot from the accelerator.  Throw in a few mexi-punk riffs as per “Spanish Days,” the highly critical and politically passionate commentary of “Tesla,” “Nowheresville’s” upbeat melodies, and Transmission.Alpha.Delta really is a celebration of Strung Out’s universal, cross-genre mastery.

Transmission.Alpha.Delta is a textbook case of if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it; just subtly evolve the next entry in Strung Out’s ongoing anthology and the passionate result will speak for itself.  For those looking for a creative departure, simply check out Cruz’s southern rock side project, Jason Cruz & Howl.

No one handles punk and metal quite like Strung Out.  If forced to highlight an exemplar,  “Magnolia” showcases how adrenaline and finesse can go hand in hand.  It’s too easy a copout to just name drop rapid-fire skatepunk bands like No Use For A Name and furious speed metal bands like Dragonforce to do Strung Out literary justice.  As demonstrated once again, the band is truly more than the sum of its parts, with Transmission.Alpha.Delta marking yet another shining example of the vibrant and sustainable career and niche that Strung Out continues to dominate.