# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Strung Out - Exile In Oblivion

  by Alex Halls

published: 16 / 1 / 2005

Strung Out - Exile In Oblivion
Label: Fat Wreck Chord Records
Format: CD


"Best effort to date" from long serving Southern Californian punks and Fat Wreck signings, Strung Out

Formed in 1992, Strung Out is one of Southern California’s longest running punk bands and having been one of Fat Wreck Chord’s first signings they are continually going from strength to strength. Consisting of Jason (vocals), Jordan (drums), Rob (guitar), Jake (guitar) and Chris (bass), 'Exile in Oblivion' is Strung Out’s best effort to date and follows on splendidly from the 2002 release 'An American Paradox'. This time round the album is more polished than previous releases, with quality running almost throughout. Always lyrically impeccable, Strung Out have, in 'Exile in Oblivion', provided nothing to detract from this great compliment. Mention of Lucifer and vampires adds a dark and meaningful edge to what is essentially melodic punk with a twist and explores the band’s understanding of mystery within the complex reality of the world within which we live. Commencing with a short introduction of 50's or 60's-esque female vocals, the album is soon kick-started by 'Analog', moving into the excellent tracks ,Blueprint Of The Fall, and ,Katatonia' before reverting to the more subdued and melodic ‘core’ of the album. 'Never Speak Again' rescues the album after this passive milieu but is short-lived as Strung Out grapple with a mixture of good and bad refrains, most obvious in 'Scarlet'. 'Exile in Oblivion' returns to punk rock as it is now known in the final two tracks, ending this further chapter in the band’s continued story on a moderately high note. One can always guarantee emotion in Strung Out’s music, blending melodic punk with the occasionally harder and faster sections, provided in bursts that act as a pleasant change and increase the range of what is on offer on this the 5th album released on the Fat label. This emotion can often be concealed by bands afraid to commit to their feelings, yet Strung Out prove time and time again in 'Vampires' and 'Never Speak Again', for example, that they are never too shy to pump that extra energy into places that they feel need it the most. The guitaring is nothing short of brilliant in places on 'Exile in Oblivion' and includes a short solo towards the end of 'Lucifermotorcade' that proves the diverse technical abilities often forwarded about Strung Out and not usually banded around lightly. It is this guitaring that often rescues the poorer parts of the album and allows the good parts to shine unhampered. Boasting production courtesy of Matt Hyde (Slayer, Sum 41, Hatebreed) there is nothing on this album not to like, despite there being a greater chance of commercial success due to its catchy nature. Although Hyde may have made more of an effort to layer the acoustics and therefore add extra depth to the music, 'Exile in Oblivion' is good enough to emerge triumphant, gaining plaudit again but perhaps not with quite the same fervour as might have otherwise been possible.

Track Listing:-
1 Analog
2 Blueprint of the Fall
3 Katatonia
4 Her Name in Blood
5 Angeldust
6 Lucifermotorcade
7 Vampires
8 No Voice of Mine
9 Anna Lee
10 Never Speak Again
11 Skeletondanse
12 Scarlet
13 Swan Dive
14 The Misanthropic Principle

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