Band: Strung Out

Name:Strung OutLocation:California, United StatesGenre:Punkrock


Jason Cruz - Vocals
Rob Ramos - Guitar
Jake Kiley - Guitar
Chris Aiken - Bass
Jordan Burns - Drums


echnical and aggressive, yet melodic and emotional, Strung Out has emerged from the grossly populated Southern California music scene as one of the strongest and most creative melodic punk bands in the land. Strung Out formed in Simi Valley, CA in 1992 and instantly achieved recognition for their ability to creatively fuse punk, metal, and progressive rock. After they independently released a 7”, Fat Wreck Chords didn’t hesitate to pull the quintet aboard their roster. Over 700,000 records later (all sold independently, mind you) we couldn’t be happier to have kept ‘em around and be releasing their upcoming full length: Blackhawks Over Los Angeles.

Fat has been lucky enough to release all 6 previous albums by these masters of the So-Cal punk scene from their first release, Another Day in Paradise in May 1994, to their breakthrough sophomore full length, Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues (1996) and up through their third and biggest record, Twisted by Design (1998). The 21st century ushered in a new lineup as well as a more metallic era for the band as demonstrated on The Element Of Sonic Defiance EP released in 2000. The band further broke new ground with their next studio full length, An American Paradox (2002), by garnering loads of commercial airplay and charting on Billboard’s top 200. A live record followed in 2003, and 2004’s Exile in Oblivion has culminated into the band’s latest full-length, Blackhawks Over Los Angeles. Although Blackhawks Over Los Angeles is definitely a sonic progression―most obviously evident in Cruz’s increasingly melodic vocal styling and the band’s impressive technical abilities―at its core, the album is simply Strung Out continuing to do what they do best.

From the blazing opener “Calling” to catchy pop-based songs like “All The Nations” to the jaw-dropping proficiency and soloing on tracks like “Orchid,” Blackhawks Over Los Angeles seamlessly blends the band’s punk, metal and hardcore influences into a cohesive amalgam that’s more vital now than ever. “A lot of people don’t like to date their records, but I want people to know exactly what was going down when we made this album,” Cruz explains. This is obvious in songs like “Letter Home,” a dynamic track that personalizes the story of a young soldier writing to his family without relying on posturing or empty sloganeering. “I think a big thing that’s forgotten in this war is the people who are caught in the middle. I’m not an outwardly political person, but I think it’s impossible not to let what’s happening in the world affect you. Hopefully writing about it will make me understand how I feel about it a little more, too.”

However, despite the apocalyptic nature of Blackhawks Over Los Angeles and the state of the world right now, there’s an underlying feeling of hopefulness to the album as well. “I didn’t want every song to be an anti-war epic,” Cruz explains. “Each song is just about trying to learn about who I am and my struggle to find my place in the world,” the veteran punk rocker adds. ”I’m just trying to understand how to grow older while still trying to hold onto what I believed when I was younger.”

Strung Out were featured on the ‘96 and ‘98 Vans Warped Tours and have toured with bands such as Pennywise, the Offspring, Bad Religion, NOFX and many others. They have built a solid worldwide fanbase through years of touring and constant progression as songwriters and performers. Strung Out goes to great lengths to repay their fanatical and frenzied fans. The appreciative band is always approachable at their shows and they feverishly utilize their website on a daily basis to communicate and interact with their fans.

Carrying on in the tradition of the band’s three previous releases, vocalist Jason Cruz created the artwork and layout for the new album. Armed with Grammy award-winning producer, Matt Hyde (Slayer, Hatebreed), Blackhawks Over Los Angeles will make it clear that their steadfast ascent will continue. The momentum has been building for some time now, and with each new record Strung Out has reached greater heights and new fans.

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