Sunday, August 05, 2007

Strung Out at the House Of Blues San Diego

My most recent trip to the U.K. was planned when I saw Nine Inch Nails. My first U.K. trip in 1996 was surreal in that I saw two of my favorite bands by accident. One of those bands was Strung Out touring in support of their album "Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues" . Strung Out is one of the most underrated punk bands that puts on one of the more electric live performances today.

I Am Ghost from Long Beach shrouded in dark blue and red light stormed the stage. At first glance and listen, one could see the comparisons with AFI, My Chemical Romance and HIM. Once they started though, Steve Juliano (Vocals) could actually sing in between his screams. Their latest record "Lovers' Requiem" is on Epitaph records.

A Wilhelm Scream from New Bedford, Massachusetts were up next and I was impressed. They are very similar in style to Strung Out, Hot Water Music, and Dropkick Murphy's. The guitar tandem of Trevor Reilly and Chris Levesque blazed lightening fast riffs with plenty of two handed tapping solos via their Gibson Les Pauls. Brian Robinson (Bass) even got into the two handed tapping act on his bass showing that each band member can hold their own musically. I admit I laughed when Nuno Pereira (Vocals) told the audience, "less Bright Eyes, more Deicide". What if you appreciate both?

I can't really say enough about Strung Out. Strung Out so effectively blurs the line between punk and metal that fans of both genres can appreciate their work. Their albums "Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues" and "Twisted By Design" are classics in my book. These albums have some amazing guitar tandem work courtesy of Jake Kiley and Rob Ramos. I correlate Jake and Rob to the famous guitar duos of Adrian Smith and Dave Murray of Iron Maiden and K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest. I would be remiss to not mention Jordan Burns double bass drumming that puts him in the ranks as one of the most underrated punk drummers playing today. Chris Aiken (Bass) was galloping around the stage so much that I barely could get any photos of him. Jason Cruz is the energetic frontman who has honed his vocal skills over the years and orchestrates the chaos on stage. I could not tell that this was the second night of their new tour as they flawlessly ripped through song after song. "Razor Sex" was as sharp as the title sounds. Rob was shredding on his green ESP guitar adorned with the Strung Out logo as Jake Kiley tapped into his inner metal god with his Jackson guitars. They played a great mix of new and old songs though I would have given anything to hear "Iceburn" off of the album "Twisted By Design". Their new album is "Blackhawks Over Los Angeles" and contains pointed political commentary amongst the backdrop of the band firing on all cylinders. I suggest you start with their blistering live cd "Strung Out:Live In A Dive" that was recorded over 4 shows at the Chain Reaction and then proceed to buy their discography. I highly recommend you check them out at the Long Beach Arena with Rise Against, and Lagwagon on September 15th.

Strung Out at the House Of Blues San Diego(8/4/07)
"Blackhawks Over Los Angeles"
"Too Close"
"No Voice"
"Razor Sex"
"Mission Statement"
"Never Good Enough"

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