Strung Out is a band that needs no introduction, and yet, here we are. This legendary California-punk band is credited as being a major influence for bands like Rise Against and AFI and has kept their nose to the grindstone for nearly 30 years; consistently blending aspects of punk rock and heavy metal to create a sound that was uniquely their own. Few bands have stood the test of time quite like Strung Out and it’s because of the band’s willingness to continuously experiment with their sound that fans new and old are constantly waiting anxiously at the edge of their seat to see what they’re going to do on the next go round.
Today, I’m excited to share an exclusive stream of the band’s new acoustic EP, Black Out The Sky. The record strips away almost everything that Strung Out is known for. Gone are the aggressive drums and raucous guitars; Black Out The Sun sees the project trading in their metal and punk sensibilities for something somber and more reflexive. It’s an incredible risk for a band like this to take, you can hide a lot behind the break-neck pace of punk-rock and chalk a lot of technical errors to the sloppy and adrenaline-fueled kind of craftsmanship that it takes to get people to actually give a shit, but it’s one that’s paid off in spades.
“Town of Corazon” is immediately one of my favorite songs to come from the year. It’s nostalgic sound makes it the kind of instant summer classic that begs for campfires and beer-drunk close friends al loudly and sloppily singing along to “It’s days like these/When all the world makes perfect sense/Can finally see without our eyes/We know we can handle this/If tomorrow takes it all away/We still got more/Than we’ll ever know so close your eyes/We made it back to the town of Corazon.”
The record comes with peaks and valleys of its own; songs like “Unkoil” and “Requiem” are hauntingly bleak, offering an outlook with little to no hope for the future. Meanwhile, the aforementioned “Town of Corazon” and “The Duke of Sorrow” offer up two of the most sing-a-long ready hooks to come from punk in a long, long time. One thing can be said for certain: With Black Out The Sun, we see all of the brash edges of their metal-infused brand of punk-rock completely stripped away, and as a result, get to fully experience the true power of Strung Out: an impeccable knack for melody.
Black Out The Sky is out May 11th on Fat Wreck Chords and can be pre-ordered here. The band’s record release show is on May 18th in Los Angelas, more info on that can be seen below.
The band will hit the road this month with Pennywise — all upcoming dates can be found below.