Strung Out

Strung Out

Strung Out

Exile in Oblivion

Fat Wreck Chords

For over a decade, Strung Out has been crafting a fine variety of punk rock tension and metal progression that’s equal parts So. Cal sweet and UK street. Starting with their Fat Records debut, Another Day in Paradise, and up to their breakout release a few years back, American Paradox, Strung Out’s been honing their chops, increasing their intensity and letting the musicianship lead the way. In a similar fashion to groups like AFI and Rise Against, Bouncing Souls and Pennywise, they continue to climb, musically and commercially, stretching the limits and setting themselves apart from the glutted scene.

Exile In Oblivion is another step forward from where American Paradox left off, featuring fourteen memorable tracks of scorching guitar work, fast breaks, athletic scales, harmonies and tight production led by Slayer-renowned Matt Hyde, who’s clearly bled the most from this band. Subjectively, Exile is inner personal and dramatic, less the VOA but still socially observant and politically inquisitive. Jason Cruz’s vox have never sounded better, well sung and smooth, magnified effectively.

By track eleven, “Skeletondanse,” one might expect they’d run out of steam, but instead they’re still churning ’em out at a highly caffeinated pace, sporting vintage Maiden riffs and semi-automatic drumming. The highlights are many: the catchy “Analog” and “Blueprint of the Fall” are rock radio ready and highly adrenalized; “Katatonia” is atmospheric and autumnal; “Vampires” and “Anna Lee” are catchy and more commercial; “Never Speak Again” is rich and instrumental, but a rare occurrence when the chorus flails a bit.

If they had cut back to ten or eleven tunes, this could’ve been the album of the year. As it stands, Exile In Oblivion is a welcome return from the band’s three year exile.

Strung Out:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Alonso Ruizpalacios
    Alonso Ruizpalacios

    Generoso speaks with director Alonso Ruizpalacios, whose dynamic new feature, A Cop Movie, utilizes a unique and effective hybrid documentary style to examine police corruption in and around Mexico City. A Cop Movie was the winner of the Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival.

  • Sarah McQuaid
    Sarah McQuaid

    The St. Buryan Sessions (Shovel and a Spade Records). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Hearty Har
    Hearty Har

    Radio Astro (BMG). Review by Julius C. Lacking.

  • Junkwraith

    A young woman abandons a promising skating career only to be chased by her inner demons.

  • The Slackers / Sic & Mad
    The Slackers / Sic & Mad

    Love I Bring /Cat Prozac (Split 7 inch single on). Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
    The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

    An adaptation of a classic horror story safe for little eyes.

  • Nosferatu

    A classic horror tale ends up some place weird.

  • Self Taught
    Self Taught

    Over a ten-year period, punk guitar legend Tim Kerr and his wife Beth used thrift store cameras to document self-taught artists environments. Combined with portraits of the creators, Self Taught is a celebration of artistic spirit.

  • New Music Now 002
    New Music Now 002

    In NMN Episode Two, Ink 19’s Pat Greene picks the soothing, balm-like brain of old friend Matt Gorney (The Civic Minded Five, Jazz in the Bible Belt on WPRK, 91.5 FM, Winter Park, Florida) as the two discuss the album Promises, from Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders, and the London Symphony Orchestra.

  • Fun Home
    Fun Home

    A small town funeral director hides a not-so-big secret.

From the Archives