Strung Out - Crossroads & Illusions (Cover Artwork)

Strung Out

Strung Out: Crossroads & IllusionsCrossroads & Illusions (1998)
Fat Wreck Chords

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:

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

Strung Out are excellent. This EP. is a reflection of just how good they are. There are 5 songs on this release, the opening 2 tracks are taken from the utterly brilliant Twisted By Design. "Crossroads" is the opening tune, and it really is a great opening song. Which is why it never really .

Strung Out are excellent. This EP. is a reflection of just how good they are. There are 5 songs on this release, the opening 2 tracks are taken from the utterly brilliant Twisted By Design.

"Crossroads" is the opening tune, and it really is a great opening song. Which is why it never really sat well with me personally, in the middle of Twisted by Design. But it does sit well here in the EP in review. It is very fast, with classic Strung Out guitar, sets one theme of the album (crossroads). The ending guitars are superb, it was loud enough but for some reason it needs to be turned up louder. Strung Out lyrics have always touched my soul, loads of people will agree that Jason Cruz's words of wisdom seem to be spot on and inspiring. "..now I gotta find a better way before I lose another part of me." A hint of depression, but we all know what he is on about.

The second song is "Mind of My Own." Depressing, in fact I think this is Strung Out at its lowest. However this song is still fantastic. The riff is so catchy and sets the mood of the song. It is a slow song, with the singing not branching too far, keeping the mood set in the depressing state of mind (the lyrics are actually "I don't have a mind of my own"). The meaning of the lyrics and the music are in perfect harmony here. The last verse is slightly more powerful, and sounds so tight and clean. So the volume goes up a further notch.

The third track also happens to be my favorite Strung Out song, "Barfly." This song means a lot to me because it relates to the consequences of long term alcohol abuse. Something I still am yet to overcome. Every time I hear the song, I feel its written for me. I'm sure so many others would feel the same way. Musically this song is great. The start is completely different to the rest. It drums into your head, it grabs your attention, and makes you listen. Then the song changes almost as if it is starting over again and then "..another wasted night and here I am again..." The song continues to changes pace and I cant hear enough of it, super fast then melodic, The song continues. Strung Out's drumming has always been amongst the elite, and the fills on this track are superb. This brings me to my highlight of this EP. "..im tired of looking at the world with both eyes open wide to the truth. I want to be found smiling when I die here, I want to burn my eye's on the sun..." At that point in the song, every time sends shivers down my spine.

"Ghostown," the fourth song, in my mind the final song of the EP this song ties the EP together. This song finishes what Crossroads started no more than three songs ago. It is a refreshment, this is not a huge stand out track. Perhaps why it is a B-side. But it is essential to the EP. The whole Crossroads & Illusions theme is about choices, and this song states that you shouldn't regret the decisions you made that turned out wrong. "some things in life I think you shouldn't know, if I'm on a one way street to nowhere at least I made it there to say I don't regret a single thing that I have done." That is pride.

The final instalment on this 5 song EP is titled "Open Mic." Which refers to the fact that it is an instrumental song, and if anyone would like to grace the open mic and try to make lyrics for this short song of mayhem, by all means.

This EP is still in print, and is inexpensive to own. I choose to give it 4 stars for the 4 songs on it that continue to give me some kind of happiness.


People who liked this also liked:
Strung Out - Twisted by DesignStrung Out - Live in a DiveBad Religion - SufferStrung Out - Suburban Teenage Wasteland BluesRise Against - Revolutions Per MinuteStrung Out - Exile In OblivionRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessStrung Out - The Element of Sonic DefianceDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeAlkaline Trio - From Here To Infirmary

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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.
Anonymous (September 12, 2005)

this is the THE album by THE band. Oh fuck hell yea strung out!

errr... maybe suburban, twsited or EOSD but please.... this is the middle album and barfly, the greatest song ever written, the middle song.

you know what's so great about strung out? songs like barfly.... each individual line carrries more weight, more power than many other entire shitty pop-punk/emo/screamo albums.

strung out is punk. Jim Cherry is punk (RIP friend)

Anonymous (February 13, 2005)

not to bash but when did reviews start determining the music? regardless of this (poorly written) review u have to hear the music before u can even comment truly

bloofy (November 30, 2004)

To all of you fuck rags who think Strung Out are shit, listen to their live in a Dive. Fucking CD blows me away every time I hear it. In fact,
*puts it on right now*

Not-To-Regret (June 8, 2004)

hey "Anonymous" (great name) I asked people to name a better band than Strung Out. I didn't ask you to bash my comments. Seriously I fucking hate the new Epitaph Emo style so I would like you to name a better punk label? honestly is there a better modern punk label than Fat Wreck? not in my mind. I am not a little fucking kid, you don't hear Simple Plan fans listening to Strung Out... and they have only gotten better since Twisted by Design. My friends who are metalheads hate punk but they actually like Strung Out, Seriously buddy, name a better active punk band. Have you even listened to Elements of Sonic Defiance? so angry you called me ignorant. Notice I didn't call you names...

Anonymous (June 7, 2004)

your'e a fucking asshole how can you tell that bullshit about this AWESOME band! you are so full of shit.. strung out is one of the best punk bands around right now.

Anonymous (June 4, 2004)

"Their next record will be my favorite punk or rock record of 2004." how the fuck can you make that bold of a comment about a record that you've never even heard. this band ain't shit anymore(it's all downhill after twisted by design, with the last disc sucking more than i ever thought they could, technical, yes but good music, no) but it looks like they've got no trouble finding young, ignorant "punks" to work for their street team. and what's with the black eyeliner and the matching jump suits at shows these days, who the fuck do they think they are?? listen to your description of them...." combines punk and metal with melodic chords and amazing lyrics" hahaha bullshit. thats every fat band or any new school band for that matter. punk metal melodies chords lyrics=nearly everybody. now get your tongue out of strung outs arse, gary.

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

he won't be a rock star for long, his 15 min. is about up. Let's see how much of a rockstar that guy is in ten years working at Target

Anonymous (June 3, 2004)

Strung out is a good band, but Jason Cruz is an asshole. I've meet the drummer and the bass player, and they were both cool, but I can't get over how much of a jerk Jason is on stage, and can not take any of his lyrics seriously. Rock star blah blah blah.

Not-To-Regret (June 2, 2004)

For those of the minority who said Strung Out sucked or that "they are by no means a fantastic band,"
I would invite you to name a better band that combines punk and metal with melodic chords and amazing lyrics. Also if you doubt the amazing talent of Strung Out I suggest you listen to the "Live In A Dive" record, it simply blows my mind, Jason's vocals are awesome live! (Razor Sex, Bring Out Your Dead etc...) Their next record will be my favorite punk or rock record of 2004.

opivykid (June 1, 2004)

Word TheMarc, the song IS really good. But, what isn't good by Strung Out? They rock beyond comprehension.

CrookedSuperhero (June 1, 2004)

I think its pretty good

TheMarc (June 1, 2004)

Does anyone else think that Strung Out's song on the Rock Against Bush compilation is really really good?

jonUSC (May 31, 2004)

Strung Out, lyrically, are definately the most advanced
punk group around. I wouldn't be surprised if Jason
Cruz was some kind of alien mutant, sent to Earth
to produce the most truthfull and confronting lyrics
in the universe. Strung Out present the deepest of
all punk words, and do it with enough balls and
power to blow any other band off the stage and out
of the stadium. This band cuts down any other punk,
in any town! Can't wait for where they go with the
next release...

CrookedSuperhero (May 31, 2004)

I said were, unlesss you WERE trying to back up what i said, in that case thanks.

Anonymous (May 31, 2004)

cheese-dick 80's pop metal sped up. beyond weak.

Anonymous (May 31, 2004)

I Love this band to. All their releases are awesome


ElVaquero (May 30, 2004)

The Broadways WERE fucking amazing.

Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

This ep is fucking ear-candy to me.

"Open Mic" rips and ravages harder and faster than anything I ever did.

BTW, that includes ravaging the state's credit rating down to junk bond status, so that your children and children's children will be paying (in higher bond interest) for my mistakes today.

Oh, well--live and learn.

Gray Davis

CrookedSuperhero (May 30, 2004)

I always here the same thing about stung out, either you like them or you hate them but think there talented. Anyway, the broadways were fucking amazing

Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

strung out should be beaten up

Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

Excellent group. Really? Fuck off

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

Excellent group. My favorite release is also "The Element Of Sonic Defiance"

Anonymous (May 29, 2004)

"Strung Out are excellent.

I stopped reading right there."

Well, that makes two of us.

- Jordan

Punkinohio (May 28, 2004)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh h i fucking love strung out!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Strung Out are good for the thing they are going for, but they are by no means a fantastic band.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

It's bands like this that made me fall in love with music. Strung Out continues to be one of the best bands because they have evolved into a new sound with every release it seems, and the astounding thing is that they retain their identity. In my opinion, from Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues and on, their records are some of the best punk has to offer period. The guy who reviewed this cd feels the same way about Jason's lyrics as I do, and I'm sure many more people think the same way. To this day, the only song that has ever made me want to cry is Your Worst Mistake (from fat music volume 6), because the lyrics have never more accurately described how I have felt. No joke. I gave Jason Cruz a hug just for writing that song. My favorite band ever.

gladimnotemo (May 28, 2004)

Strung Out are excellent.

I stopped reading right there.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Strung out is the best punk band around right now- they are so original and so fast i love this record !!!

hubitcherkokov (May 28, 2004)

Anything Strung Out has released is pretty damn good, the exception being "The Skinny Years...Before We Got Fat". But the last three (An American Paradox, The Element of Sonic Defiance, and Twisted By Design) are the best in my opinion.

"The Element of Sonic Defiance" is my favorite Strung Out release. So dark, so heavy, so good! Listen to that solo in "Jackie-O"!!!

opivykid (May 28, 2004)

Good review. I love strung out ohh so much, most definitly one of my favorite bands ever.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

i honestly think that strung out is the best band out right now, they still continue to bring out powerful, original music that noone can even touch. they are fucking unreal, and its awesome that they are still around. Crossroads and Illusions was my 1st cd of theirs so the senitmental value shoots throught the roof... I Love These guys.

inagreendase (May 28, 2004)

I've never been huge on Strung Out, but I like all their releases to some degree. I doubt they ever top Twisted By Design. "Matchbook" is probably one of my favorite album closers ever. This little EP is good too though.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

good review...

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Unfortunately Strung Out is going to be hard pressed to ever match the quality of this ep and the two releases after. "An American Paradox" didn't do it for me like the aforementioned three releases did.


Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

This ep kicks ass. It's hard to say which is the best Strung Out album. Mainly because everything they have done is way better than 99% of the bands today. Dont forget the Elemental Sound EP, that rocks my balls as well!!

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

This ep kicks ass. It's hard to say which is the best Strung Out album. Mainly because everything they have done is way better than 99% of the bands today. Dont forget the Elemental Sound EP, that rocks my balls as well!!

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Twisted by design and suburban are Strung OUt two worst albums. But the 3 others are great thought.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

God I love strung out. Twisted by Design would make my top 20 punk albums. Suburban is so enegitic, what a fun album. Love it too. I think i'm one of the few who thought american paradox was sick. Right on par w/ suburban in a different way. alot of variety. Element of sonic defiance, also sick, very experimental, great ep. i think theres only like 4 or 5 strung out songs i don't like, if that. The live album is sick too. can't wait for the new one, i doubt it will dissapoint. the new song on the rock agains bush comp is pretty good.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

Suburban is definitely the best album they have ever released. I also think it is one of the best punk albums of all time. I remember when it came out it was in the my car's CD player for over a year.

I think Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues is better than anything they've ever done - prior or since, but this is a great EP.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

This is a very good EP, it was kind of overshadowed because it was released around the same time as Twisted by Design.

I wish Strung Out would do another full US tour...

aubin (May 28, 2004)

I'm a strange Strung Out fan since I think Suburban Teenage Wasteland Blues is better than anything they've ever done - prior or since, but this is a great EP.

"Barfly" is probably one of the best songs they've ever written. I miss this version of Strung Out, as the last two (EP and LP) records were pretty disappointing when compared to Suburban... and Twisted by Design.

Anonymous (May 28, 2004)

This is Strung Out's best release. Barfly & Open Mic are incredible.

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