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An American Paradox

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Album Review

It had been four years since Strung Out's last album, Twisted by Design, but it was well worth the wait. An American Paradox finds the group as hard hitting as ever, their music still a machine-gun fire of heavy-hitting sounds blending hardcore punk and lashings of metal frothed with harmonies and whipped up by the strong melodies. Behind the power and fury of the music, however, lies the eloquence of the lyrics, the band's true forte. Pretty much anyone can play raging hardcore, but Strung Out does it better and with more conviction than most; it's their words that truly connect them to the audience. Theirs is the lyricism of an all-night talk-fest, when suddenly thoughts crystallize and words become inspired and effortlessly skewer, amplify, and clarify salient discussion points. Even as Jason Cruz pours forth on "Alien Amplifier," "I'm wasting precious time on words that never seem to get through to anybody else," he's capturing the frustration of writer's block, the inner confusion of the tongue-tied who can never spit out the words they mean, the fury at the world's inability to communicate. With "The Kids," the quintet encapsulates teenaged nihilism, the overwhelming desire to tear the world down and build it up again afresh. The Sex Pistols raged about anarchy, but Strung Out is more nuanced and recognizes the hope that lives within destruction. That destructive force is taken into the personal realm on "Kill Your Scene," a furious assault on drama queens (or kings). Television gets an equal comeuppance and even sex gets a look, if an uncomfortable one, as does L.A. itself on "Cemetery," whose haunting line, "The sun holds no regrets/The natives sway under arrest/As all the stars fall from the sky," is sure to resonate with anyone familiar with the city of angels. The title track strikes out at a myriad of cultural touchstones, a meaty song meant for listeners to mull over.

Customer Reviews

Hands down.......

One of the best bands ever.


One of the best metal/punk ensembles ever. The guitars are killer, totally not what was populer in the late 90's, early 2000's (by this I mean there is more than 3 power chords that make up each song). Definately a good band to check out of you like melodic metal thats not emo, whiney, or goth.

A Somewhat Return to Form

4 years since the legendary Twisted by Design and 2 years since the experimental EP The Element of Sonic Defiance, the band returned to a sound that seems like a mix betwen the 2 releases. The album has uplifting and poppy parts as well as darker and heavier parts. "UnKoil" is arguably the most unique track, as it is a rare mid tempo styled Strung Out track. Many regard this album as their weakest, but I find it to be one of their better albums.


Formed: 1989 in Simi Valley, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Mixing up punk speed, metal guitar power, and a dash of electronics for seasoning, Southern California rockers Strung Out were formed in 1989, with a lineup featuring vocalist Jason Cruz, guitarists Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos, bassist Jim Cherry, and drummer Adam Austin. By the time the band released their first 7", Austin had been replaced by Jordan Burns, formerly of Ten Foot Pole. The quintet signed with NOFX bassist Fat Mike's Fat Wreck Chords label in 1993 and issued a debut album, Another Day...
Full Bio
An American Paradox, Strung Out
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Customer Ratings


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