Strung Out’s earlier releases on Fat Wreck Chords, “Another Day in Paradise”, “Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues” and “Twisted by Design” are three of the most influential modern punk rock records. If they were movies they would be the Star Wars trilogy.
Unfortunately, that would make their newest EP “The Element of Sonic Defiance” the equivalent of The Phantom Menace. Jason Cruz’s snarling vocals have been usurped as the primary focus of the songs by the crunching dual guitars of Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos.
The tight style that characterized Strung Out’s earlier offerings has been replaced by a more pedantic, metal sound- particularly on the first two (out of the eight) tracks. Just like The Phantom Menace, however, this EP still deserves to be experienced. Razorblade, in particular, is worth the price of admission (as long as you’re paying matinee prices) as the aggression is toned down just a tiny notch to Teenage Wasteland levels. So while Strung Out’s The Element of Sonic Defiance isn’t as polished as their previous works it’s still a decent effort. Here’s hoping their next one (and the next Star Wars installment) will tighten up the production and kick some ass.