Strung Out - Live in a Dive (Cover Artwork)

Strung Out

Strung Out: Live in a DiveLive in a Dive (2003)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:

Contributed by: AubinAubin
(others by this writer | submit your own)

There are two kinds of live records. Those that are more than just a retrospective, but a fitting introduction to a band, and those that are more of a special release just for fans. Neither of these two types of records is better or worse than the other, but just like Live at the Roxy was a perfe.
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There are two kinds of live records. Those that are more than just a retrospective, but a fitting introduction to a band, and those that are more of a special release just for fans. Neither of these two types of records is better or worse than the other, but just like Live at the Roxy was a perfect introduction to Social Distortion and From Here to Eternity was a treat for Clash fans everywhere, albums seem to inevitably fall into these categories.

So how is Strung Out's addition to the thus far excellent Live in a Dive series?

It's really good. But that's not going to be a surprise to anyone who has seen Strung Out play in something smaller than the Warped Tour. These guys are just mind-blowingly good musicians, songwriters and foremost performers.

Strung Out has had a weird evolution; their first record Another Day in Paradise was good, if somewhat generic, Fat-styled punk rock. But shortly thereafter - in a year that would best be referred to as one of Fat's finest - accompanying Good Riddance's Comprehensive Guide, Propagandhi's Less Talk, More Rock, was Strung Out's breakout album, Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues. It still stands out to me as a perfect record for the band; sure, the follow up Twisted By Design has some incredibly good tracks, some even stronger than those on "Blues", but as a whole, nothing the band - or most of their contemporaries - has recorded approaches the consistency of songwriting, production and musical inventiveness that was all over "Blues"

The follow ups to these two amazing records, were somewhat anti-climatic for me; I was disappointed by American Paradox and the Element of Sonic Defiance; not because they were bad records, but because the direction they went in just didn't appeal to me.

As a result, this live record was most welcome; it was a chance to hear new interpretations of songs I know and love, and I believe that's why it will appeal to long time fans moreso then new ones, who I recommend should check out the studio records first.

The question, then, is how does it stand up as a record for people who have listened to Strung Out for a while. Well, one of the best things about it is the choice of tracks, which includes both popular album tracks like the explosive "Bring Out Your Dead", the indescribably positive "Too Close to See" and slightly less common "Barfly" which appeared on the excellent Crossroads and Illusions EP.

Not to mention, the interesting variations of classic Strung Out tunes like the slow harmonized intro to "Exhumation of Virginia Madision" really kept things fresh. (Slight digression here, but that track couples some of the most morbid and melancholy lyrics with the catchiest melodies I've ever heard)

The only track missing, sadly, was one of my absolute favourite Strung Out track "Wrong Side of the Tracks" which closes Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues but I can't fault them because the selection is otherwise thorough and incredibly well performed.

So the bottom line is:

If you haven't seen the band live yet, you should.

If you can't, this record is almost as good as being there.

If you don't like Strung Out, then I'm not really sure why you read all of this.


People who liked this also liked:
Rise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteStrung Out - Twisted by DesignStrung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland BluesOperation Ivy - Operation IvyStrung Out - Exile In OblivionAgainst Me! - As The Eternal CowboyRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessNOFX - The DeclineBad Religion - SufferThe Loved Ones - Keep Your Heart

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Kosta011 (April 2, 2012)

This album SUX! Big waste of money. Ive seen them live a couple of times and they dont sound anything like they do on the record. They are much slower live and some of the songs sound different because they cant dupicate them on the stage. Love the albums and they are great blasting via my speakers but live...

wonton (June 18, 2008)

WOW. grat live album, i listen to this in the car because i dont really bring more than one cd with me. a perfect mix of songs spanning strung out's early and mid carreer.

lost motel is brilliant.

Anonymous (June 20, 2006)

This album dominates, so sick. Yuss seeing them live next week... in a super small venue, cant wait. On a side note, how amazing was nufan's live in a dive. pretty old school but so good

Not-To-Regret (February 21, 2005)

"I was disappointed by American Paradox and the Element of Sonic Defiance; not because they were bad records, but because the direction they went in just didn't appeal to me."

First of all this live album deserves no less than 8/10, I don't understand why Aubin praised the album but only gave it a 7, which is the borderline between an above average record and a good record, and this record is AT LEAST a good record, if not near perfection (score of 9.5).

And The Element of Sonice Defiance IS strung out's best record in terms of pure musicianship; it may not be as "catchy" as Suburban,,, but hell it's ALOT better, the songs aren't just 4 chord pop-punk, but in fact the emergence of the "true" strung out in its modern form: the technical punk-metal band.

bloofy (November 11, 2004)

I think that for Strung Out this would be a great album to end their fat wreck chord career on and head to a major.

What the fuck man?! Do you realise how this would change their sound?
Hell no!

And Good Riddance definitely deserve the next LiaD, them or Lagwagon. Same with Propagandhi, but they are lazy bastards and dont deserve it :P

bloofy (November 11, 2004)

This cd blew me away....im just gunna agree with everything the guy below said, cause it is all right!

jonUSC (May 31, 2004)

Simply because this band is are above and beyond anything
in their style, this compact disc is a winner. Generally, a Strung Out record with twenty one songs on it, your pretty much guarenteed of receiving at least 10 absolute bomber tracks, and Strung Out do not fail to deliver. Major songs:

Too Close to See, Ultimate Devotion, Everyday, Bring Out Your Dead, Rottin' Apple, Lost Motel, Support Your Troops, Barfly, Exhumation of Virginia Madison, Matchbook...ten amazing tunes.

Tear in the eye Strung Out moments on this record for Strung Out to the death fans:

1.The opening, Jason: "All right guys whatsup? Lets set this fucking place down... into "Too Close to See".
2 .Before second verse of "Ultimate Devotion", Jason proclaims, "She walked my way with a sick, fucked up smile"
Chills down your spine...
3 Guitar solo in "Everyday", bullshit fast and accurate.
4. "Bring Out your Dead" climax... your twisted warm embrace, engulfing all I tried to be etc.. AMAZING!
5. The merging between, "Bring Out your Dead" to "Rottin' Apple", just like on STWB.
6. "Lost Motel", simply because the song is there.
7. Jason, dedicating "Support Your Troops" to big Jim, gives the song a whole new edge which makes you double amped for the song.
8. "Barfly", beginning to end, absolute brilliance...
9. "...Virginia Madison", perfectly situated in the set, with a slower start. The echo on "I'm all wet" beginning the song, adds aditional happiness, time and time again.
10. Breaking into "Matchbook" and the timeless "It's easy to forget your face, and it's easy to survive in this place, without you, I just comb my and wash my face and keep straight ahead and keep my pace..." AWESOME!!!

Overall, any Strung Out live album is going to be absolutely brilliant. They are the best punk band ever. Everything Strung Out touch, turns to gold, fucking incredible. 10 out of 10.

Anonymous (July 20, 2003)

Strung Out fucking shreds. This is a great live album my only complaint is that they didn't play some songs that I would have liked to hear and that they played some that could have easily been replaced. You can really feel the energy and I like how they played some songs different to keep it fresh. I think that for Strung Out this would be a great album to end their fat wreck chord career on and head to a major. They are to good to be held down. I know that they want exposure and to play to new crowds, I believe that there next album will be on a major, especially with all the success that alot of respectable bands are getting ex. AFI and Thrice.

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)

I have to give thanks to strung out for put this album i love it! best band ever... i cant wait to the new album

Anonymous (June 29, 2003)


Anonymous (June 29, 2003)


Anonymous (June 29, 2003)


Anonymous (June 29, 2003)


Anonymous (June 17, 2003)

Got this on the weekend it was alright I guess, too many mediocre songs I wish Crossroads was on it that's the best song Strung Out has ever done. The best Live in a Dive so far is No Use's.

granttheintern (June 16, 2003)

This is a great Live In a Dive. The quality is good, so don't pay any mind to those that don't have any idea what they're talking about. Only wish they had played Deville...

NOFXPunkLTJ22 (June 13, 2003)

Anti-Flag sucks? You suck balls.

insinceredave (June 11, 2003)

Its just like being at their show!

insincere dave

Anonymous (June 11, 2003)

Anti-Flag fucking sucks anyways...

NOFXPunkLTJ22 (June 10, 2003)

An Anti-Flag live in a dive would be stupid they already have Mobilize and they have only been on fat for 1 CD. After 2 or three more rise against CD's theyll have a Live in a Dive. Thats the next to look forward to.

This CD is great, though you cant really rate it as a CD because it is live. I LOVE the solo in "Bark at the moon" it sounds amazing live. And the production is great and the sound. ITS A LIVE RECORD MORONS DONT COMPLAIN ABOUT QUALITY!!! Especially when this is the best live quality recording that you can get.

And not for nothing but everyone says STWB is Strung Out's best. Well I LOVE their new stuff, esp. the EP (EOSD) and American Paradox. They became harder, better riffs and leads and stuff, the songs became more intricate and harder to write. There change in styles was all for the better.

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

brah chill, i think the wagon already did their show for their live in a dive. its due up some time this year, you'll get your most-likely-last fix. will make a great bookend to your 'wagon collectionne.

greendase, ina

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

come on anit anyone happy knowing that the fucking SUBHUMANS!!! have the next live in a drive....and this cd is the 2end best live in drive right behind sick of it alls

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

wagon and caddies need one!

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

New found glory and good charlotte need one ahahhahah

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

I was disappointed when I read on Interpunk.com that this Live In The Dive CD would be an enhanced CD with an interview and video footage. The 3 previous Live FAT releases were all enhanched CD's so I never questioned it. But now that interpunk has removed that section of the title description and the CD is not enhanced, who fucked up? FAT, Interpunk, Strung Out? Anyone have any info?

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

this cd blow me away really this band is awesome live i love it!
best live cd ever!! i cant wait to the new relase in 2004 whooaaaaa!
strung out is the best fat band by far they need another lebel cuz fat records is to "little" for them they are very talented and all that shit

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

anti flag needs one!!!

dignin(whaa happened?)

melvyl (June 9, 2003)

most appropiate cd ever.
i mean, finally we get a good punk rock gig in sweden, nofx/strung out/real mckenzies/randy, best gig in sweden since descendents 96? yes.

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

EVERYONE NEEDS ONE!! THIS CD ROCKS.. i hope they come to my town real soon!

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

Rise Against needs one!


(let's not list the whole fat line-up though)

Anonymous (June 9, 2003)

Larry Arms needs one!

Anonymous (June 8, 2003)

propagndhi needs one !

Anonymous (June 8, 2003)

"Good Riddance needs one of these."


Anonymous (June 8, 2003)

Great band and they put on a killer show.

Anonymous (June 8, 2003)

Great live disc. There are some honest to good "surreal" moments. Matchbook is particularly incredible. As for the Jets to Brazil review, I've never seen em' but I would trade a valuable body part for the chance to catch a show.

_911 (June 8, 2003)

good riddance needs one of these..

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

Has anyone seen Jets To Brazil live? Post a review!!!

sickboi (June 7, 2003)

I have given this album a few more listens and it is growing a little on me. Though I do find all the little grunts and the consistant yelling of "FUCK!" a little annoying. The setlist has grown on me, but I still think the production is worse than what Strung Out deserves.

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

Wrong side of the tracks is one kickin' tune..

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

This review read more like a review of SO's catalog rather than the live in a dive cd.

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

HEll yeah this album RULES.. awesome live cd from an amazing band to watch

SOYBOMB (June 7, 2003)



Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

Great Review. There isn't much more that needs to be said about this album. It will be tough for any Fat band to equal this performance on a LIAD album.

union_tumbleweed (June 7, 2003)

The production on STWB was garbage. It's dry and tinny, except when the bass gets into the very low frequencies, and then it's so overdriven it makes your speakers buzz.

I guess performance-wise, I can see what you're talking about, because I have seen these guys like 12 times, and they have always been exceptional live, but as far as saying that this record is their typical live set? Where are all the set staples, like the crowd interaction in the middle of Bring Out Your Dead, or even whole songs, like Radio Suicide, Firecracker, Ashes, Mind of My Own... ? I think they changed things up quite a bit from their typical set list. As far as what they missed, I would have liked to have seen Your Worst Mistake, Scarecrow, Blew, Sattelite, Gear Box, Betrayal, Mission to Mars... blah blah blah I guess I am more partial to their more recent stuff, but in all, I really dig this record. Good review!

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

Great album.

Anonymous (June 7, 2003)

Okay it's Strung Out and they're phenomenal so I can't say this is a bad record. But as live albums go, this one doesn't excite me. I'd rather just burn a compilation of all my favorite Strung Out songs, that's pretty much all you've got here anyway.

TJmoney (June 7, 2003)


hell yeah this cd is badass, they left off so many songs too...it's crazy how many awesome songs they have. for this cd, ultimate devotion, too close to see, EVERYfuckinDAYyeah!!!, don't look back, velvet alley, matchbook, bark at the moon...shit every song is top notch...and they left off firecracker, wrong side of the tracks, betrayal...hope they really do put out a dvd and it's not just a rumor...and I really really hope they come to orlando on the US tour they plan on having.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

No "Iceburn" No "American Lie" no "Razorblades" NOT INTERESTED!!!

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

Strung Out is the shit live. Its incredible how talented they are.

ElVaquero (June 6, 2003)

This band has too many great songs to fit on one cd or show. I am pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of Klawsterfobia, though.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

better review than the tkt one. jesus.

TheOneTrueBill (June 6, 2003)

i finally got around to getting the SOIA one today. Good shit.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

how's the comic? - bigjerk

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

amazing live disc. great selection of songs and flow between them. by far, the best live FAT disc. "Razor Sex" is the unsung gem on it for me. - Jordan Pastepunk

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

This was by far the best live in a dive album put out.
It renewed my faith in strung out.
Amazing album
Perfect score, because there isn't a thing I would change, aside from the obvious.....more live songs.
Well done!

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

This album would have been perfect if "Better Days" had been on it, simply because thats my favorite Strung Out song, and my favorite song in general. Overall this album was amazing.

I also think "Firecracker,Solitare, and Gearbox" should have been on the album as well, but you can't have em all...


TahoeJeff (June 6, 2003)

I like it

turdcorn (June 6, 2003)

To the guy below me,


Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

I think you have an ass fetish Turdcorn....

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

this is a good set and the production is B . they played barfly so im stoked

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

I've got to agree with you Aubin. 'Wrong side of the tracks' is in my opinion THE BEST strung out song. I was disappointed that it wasn't on this disc. The bastards have never played it live any time I saw them.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

sorry but rather hear the SOIA LIAD.

(you've been SOL)

sickboi (June 6, 2003)


(thats what my farts sound like, anyways)

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

and what does ass sound like?

sickboi (June 6, 2003)

Don't get me wrong, I really like Strung Out, maybe my expectations were really high for this, and its hard to follow how great the Sick Of It All LIAD was.

turdcorn (June 6, 2003)

I like Strung Out, but I DID not like this record. It just sounded like ass.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

Sickboi: The band let the fans choose the setlist on their message board. Don't bitch about the setlist because the real fans appreciate it.

tenderbransonx (June 6, 2003)

I like your review dude. Mostly becuase I agree with it.
To Debate News:

hungryjoe (June 6, 2003)

well put

i particularily like the inclusion of "support your troops". i'm of the opinion that the skinny years is a terrible collection of songs, so it's nice to hear what it might have been like to see them live in their early years.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

I saw Strung Out about a year ago and they played for 2 hours, it was exhausting. Great live act though, they put a lot into it and you can tell they never want to stop playing.

Anonymous (June 6, 2003)

Way off, the production is shotty, the vox sound like they were sang outta a tin can, and the setlist has no flow.....weak.


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